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Foundations of Modern Social Thought Yale University

Lecture 1 Transcript

Professor Ivn Szelnyi: So welcome. This is a course on Foundations of Modern Social Thought. It has a sociology number, a political science number, and a humanities number. And my name is Ivn Szelnyi. I'm a professor of sociology, a professor of political science, and it is my honor that I can introduce you to some of the Founding Fathers--I'm afraid they are all fathers right, no mothers among them; I will tell you why not--of modern social thought. It's basically theories, starting from the sixteenth century and ending up in the early twentieth century. This course is very interdisciplinary. It's not accidental it has a humanities number, a political science number, and a sociology number. In fact, as we start discussing the foundations of modern science in the sixteenth century there is even no distinction, no sharp distinction, between sciences and social sciences. Right? The first author on our list, Thomas Hobbes, did a lot of work on optics and has been in a violent controversy with Descartes. So those of you who are in natural sciences are probably familiar with Descartes and his pioneering work on optics. John Locke, for those of you who aspire to become a doctor, was actually studying medicine and performed a surgery on a very well-known English politician. A quite successful surgery, though even today doctors quite don't know whether this politician survived because of good luck or because of the surgery. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make, in the early sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth centuries, sciences and social sciences are not separated from each other yet. Jean Jacques Rousseau, a real pain in the neck but an extremely smart guy, he also wrote an important book which dealt with sciences and social studies. It's really by the kind of late eighteenth century that people are beginning to identify as studying society or human behavior. But even then, until the very last author--what we have here, Emile Durkheim--people identified themselves with a number of approaches, disciplinary approaches. There were social scientists, all right, or philosophers, all right. The difference between philosophy and social science is a very vague one. So they're beginning to distinguish themselves increasingly from sciences, but they are still multidisciplinary. Who is Karl Marx, you know? He is a philosopher. He's an economist. He is a political scientist. Sociologists name him as one of the Founding Fathers of sociology. Max Weber, he identified himself as a legal theorist. He was studying economic history. I think primarily he identified himself, early in life, as an economist, as an economic historian; later in life he began to call himself a sociologist. So the point is, this is a very interdisciplinary course. So

one advantage of you to take this course is that you will be getting knowledge, which leads you--which would benefit you, if you are studying sciences. If you want to become a psychologist, if you become an economist or a political scientist or an anthropologist or a philosopher, this list of names will appear on your reading list. Okay, so that's I think--I will go--I have many, many slides to show you, and I will try to bring them alive to you a little. So I don't want to waste too much of my time here, to rush through all this. But let me still speak to some of the details, what I'm sure many of you are particularly interested. First, about the readings. And my first advice is: don't let yourself to be scared by me. All right? All the readings are on the internet. You don't have to buy any books, you don't have to go to the library, you just go to the internet and you on load the readings and you can print the readings out. That's when you get scared because some of the readings are too long, and some of the readings you start reading and you feel you don't understand a word of it. Well, your experience is not very different from mine when I was reading these texts for the first time. So my advice is don't get scared. Right? I don't expect you to do much more reading for this course in a week than let's say five or six hours. This will not be enough for you, in first reading, to get the readings on your command. Reading characters like Hobbes, or reading even characters like Nietzsche, is hard stuff to do. My advice is that you kind of quickly skim-read for the lecture; do some reading for the lecture, so you can come in with a sense of the text. And I will give you the most important citations and an interpretation, and then I'll give you a searchlight. You can go back to the text, and you know what you are looking for, and get ready for the discussion section. At the discussion section, I will keep my mouth shut, and I want you to talk. I will ask questions, and we will have a lively discussion. Right? So by that time you will have to have more of a sense. But I will use a lot of PowerPoints, and the PowerPoints will be put on the internet and will help you to go through the text. So my first point is: don't get scared with the readings. Please don't drop this course because you said there are too many, too difficult readings. This is not meant to be an easy course, but I will make it easy for you. Easy and fun! You can't believe how Thomas Hobbes can be fun, but give me just one week and you will see how fun he is. All right? Now the other concern by people who shop: assignments. Well there are quite a few assignments to this course. But I am one of those people who are scared of exams. I was almost 70 when I got my driver's license because I did not want to fail my driver's test. So I understand anxieties about tests. So therefore I have been working hard, over my life, to make assignments serious--make sure that you put serious work into the course, you master the

material--and at the same time the level of anxiety is reduced near zero. How do I do that? Easy. There will be three tests. All the three tests will be administered on the internet. You sit in your room, you sit in a library, you go to a coffee shop, you go to Starbucks, and you login, 8:00 p.m., at a given day, and then you will get questions from which you have to answer some of them. Right? I also will give you a set of questions one week before the test. So you will not be surprised what kind of questions you will be asked. I will reduce that list, and even from this--let's say I will give you a list of about eight to ten questions, reduce it to three, and then you will have to answer two. Okay? But there will be no anxiety; you know exactly what's going on. You will have one hour to answer it. I don't mind if you prepare and you cut and paste and you put it on the internet; that's okay. It's open book, you can use books. What I want you to do, not to use books; I want to use your brain, for a change. Okay, so that's the three tests. And then there will be one paper for the end of the course. The paper is not a big deal. I just want to try to bring the course together, different elements of the course together. The three tests are about three blocks of the courses. The paper is supposed to link at least two blocks of these courses. All right? And again, you will be able to talk to me, and your teaching fellows, about the paper topic. And let me then introduce--ask our teaching assistants, teaching fellows, to introduce themselves. Could you do so? Student: I'm Elizabeth Breese, and I'm a third year in the sociology department. Student: I'm Joseph Klett, also a third year in the sociology department. Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Well we have a third one, who didn't show. And I will take also two discussion sections myself. I will take Monday and Wednesday, a discussion section, 7:00 p.m. So sort of make sure that people don't overlap with other obligations. Even athletes can take it because practices are usually over, and dinner is over, right? So after dinner you can come to a nice after-dinner conversation with me. And I will be grading the assignments of students who take my discussion sections. You can also be sure that we will make all efforts that everybody will be able to get into a discussion section. So right now the crowd is bigger than the number of teaching fellows and myself. We have so far on the internet listed only five discussion sections, but if you want to take the course, and you do not fit into any of the discussion sections, you will be talking to me, and I will be figuring out that you will get your discussion section. Not a single person should drop out of this course because there is no discussion section that student will take.

You have my word for it. Okay? I think that's probably all housekeeping. Any question about this? If yes, please loud. Well it looks like it's clear, right? Both clear and attractive. As just one very last sentence, I don't want this to be a "Mickey Mouse" course. I want this to be serious. Right? I want you to be challenged, I want you to think, I want you to read, and I want you to remember what you learned in this course. Right? But I want to decrease the level of anxiety and make the workload reasonable. And if you come to lectures, you come to discussion sections, it will be okay. You will not be overloaded by work, and you will not be filled with anxiety. Now, let me try to rush quickly through all of these authors and give you at least a couple of words about everyone so you get a sense what will happen in this course. All right? And I have how many--27 minutes to do that. So this is Thomas Hobbes, born in 1588. Well, Hobbes had a bit of a troubled childhood--a difficult father who was a clergyman, got into a fight with another clergyman and had to disappear. He had a fight actually in a cemetery, which in the sixteenth century was no-no, especially for a clergyman. Anyway, he grew up with uncles. Nevertheless, he got to the University of Oxford, did pretty good, and became a tutor of William Cavendish, and then traveled with him to Europe, France, and Italy, and he met Galileo and was greatly influenced by Galileo. At that time in English universities, they were mainly teaching Aristotle, and well Hobbes became very disenchanted with Aristotle, the dogmatism of Aristotle's philosophy, and he was enthralled by the emergence of new positive science, what Galileo represented. Then he came back in England, and there were very turbulent politics; I will talk about this greater in the course. And he was among those, as a conservative guy--if you are Republican you will love it--he sided with the king against the parliament. And since he did that in 1640, he better skipped and went to France, into exile, and then returned in '51 to England. Because he was a troublemaker, he was not only in conflict with the Republicans, he was also in conflict with the Royalists. He died in 1679. Now his first work was a translation of Thucydides. He liked Thucydides because he thought Thucydides showed why democracy doesn't work. Right? He's an absolutist, Hobbes: a conservative, absolutist. And then he wrote an interesting trilogy, and this again shows the unity of sciences and social sciences. The first volume deals with the human body, with biology. The second works on the individual; it is really psychology. And the last one works on society and politics. And he thinks the way how to understand human existence is start with bodily functions, and move from bodily functions to politics and philosophy. And then his major work is Leviathan. This

is the work probably most of you've heard the title of. And this was actually at a time when Charles I was already executed, and he actually was considering there should be a possibility to transfer loyalty to a new ruler--what the Royalists, fellow Royalists, all in exile in Paris, didn't like. So now he had to escape Paris, to escape the anger of the Royalists. This is the First Edition of the Leviathan, one of the most influential books in politics ever written. Well not a very attractive book. The main theme is that in the state of nature--naturally by human nature, people are quite evil, and therefore order has to be imposed over people above each other; otherwise there would be a war--we would be in a state of war of everyone against everyone. This is the major citation from Leviathan; that's what everybody knows. Right? Okay, John Locke is the next, born half a century later--also a British scientist. He came from a minor gentry family. He also studied at Oxford--philosophy and, as I said, medicine was also his second major. Early on, he was very much attracted to Hobbes, but then he met a major British politician, Shaftesbury. He performed a liver operation on him, assumedly saving his life. And then he changed course from a conservative and became sort of a Republican; or by American political standards he shifted from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party, that's what he did. Right? Well, in fact, he was even involved in [1682]'82 in a plot to overthrow Absolutism, and he had to escape to the Netherlands--returned in '89 to London, and died a few years later. Well his conservative work was in '64--his address at the college in which he actually offered a Hobbesian thesis: Kings are gods and the people are beasts. But then he changed completely. He already writes an important paper on toleration. Liberals are still reading it. And especially he writes the Two Treatises, which is a major foundation work for modern democratic theory-a major foundation work for the American Constitution as well. This is the First Edition of it. So what are the main points? He said, well, men are born free and equal, and in the state of nature they are good. There is a need for a superior, but a superior can also be accepted by the consent of everybody who is subjected to authority. And he is the first political theorist who advocates the separation of powers and has a major impact, together with Jean Jacques Rousseau, on the foundation of the American Constitution--this is where the American Constitution comes from. Now we move from England to France, to Montesquieu, who was born in the late seventeenth century and lived in the kind of already swinging eighteenth century. The eighteenth century was essentially, at least in France, fun to live in. Well it was a lot of turbulence, but interpersonal relationships were quite interesting, you'd say. It reminds me of the 1960s, hobbies and hippies and whatever. Right? So before the French Revolution you had the 1960s

kind of stuff. Well there was not marijuana, but there was a lot of various kinds of sex which made the eighteenth century quite fun. And the life of Montesquieu made it quite fun. Well he was born in the right place, near Bordeaux, where the good wine is grown, bred. His name was actually Charles-Louis de Secondat, and he became Montesquieu when his uncle died and he inherited the title of Baron de Montesquieu from him. He studied Law. He's a major legal theorist. Anyone of you who is heading to law school will have to take this course because the theory of law starts with Montesquieu. Anyway, he studied at the University of Bordeaux. In [1728] '28 he did the right thing. You know, to be a parliamentarian in Bordeaux was boring and rather he did, he went into commerce. He became a wine merchant and a mercenary and an adventurer--spent two years traveling all over in Europe and having lots of fun, leaving his wife behind to run the business. Not very nice of him. So the wife was sending the money to--money orders or the equivalence of it--wherever he was having fun, in Italy or England or the Netherlands, where there was fun. Then when he returned, he began to do writing, particularly his major book, that we will talk about. And he died in '55. About the work, there are two major works: the Persian Letters, which is a fun work, an ironic view of French and Persian--of the life of Paris in the eyes of two Persian visitors--a kind of ironic view of the absurdities of French life. And then, in '48, he writes finally his major book, The Spirits of Laws [correction: The Spirit of Laws], which-it's an extremely important book and you will read--this is the First Edition of it--you will read from it. What are the major contributions? Well, as I mentioned already, Locke noticed the need for the separation of powers. But Locke separated only three branches of government: the executive, the legislative, and one he called the federative. Montesquieu formulated the way, how it is in the American Constitution; namely he separates the legislative, the executive and the judicial branch. And we will talk a great deal about this--why it is so important to separate the juridical branch from the legislative and the executive. And then he also did something very pioneering--extremely nave but very pioneering--he looked at ecosystem. Right? He's sort of the first environmentalist; not quite. Even Khaldun did much before him. But for modern, more contemporary theorists, it's really Montesquieu who tries to explain the nature of laws with climatic conditions--looks at the interaction between nature and society. And it took us basically three hundred years to realize how important this interaction is. Right? So he's really doing some absolutely path-breaking work.

Now this is Jean Jacques Rousseau. I mean, I have many favorites among these people. Jean Jacques Rousseau is one of them, not--because I disagree [correction: agree] with everything what he said, but he says it so provocatively and in such a fun way that I just cannot resist to enjoy it all the time. He was born already in the eighteenth century and died just before the French Revolution, though he played a big role paving the road to the French Revolution. About his life: he was born in Geneva so he's Swiss, whatever it means. His father was a watchmaker. And, like Hobbes, had a turbulent childhood. The father probably had some debts, so he had to jump the boat and went to Istanbul and left his son behind. Who then in [1728] '28 moved to Annecy, France and met a wonderful lady, Mrs. Warens, who took in young boys. He was just about sixteen at that time. She was about ten or twelve years his senior and--well I will talk about this more; I will give you all this gossip in this course. Well it fascinated a lot of people, later on, this interesting relationship between Jean Jacques and Mrs. Warens. Stendhal candal! Anybody remember the name of the French novelist, Rouge et Noir, Red and Black? Well this is all telling the story of Jean Jacques Rousseau and Mrs. Warens. Well the affair lasted for a long time. Then he moved in '42, in Paris, and he became a superstar. You know, wherever he was he had to be a superstar, and he was a superstar in everything. There is just no match. Probably Leonardo da Vinci is somebody who can be compared with Rousseau in his--as a Renaissance man. You know, he knew everything, and he did everything perfectly. Perfectly...I mean, all problematic. Now in '62, he publishes two of his major books, and I will talk about them a little later. The big scandal is they have to escape France because he would be in big trouble with the church in particular. But in Switzerland he doesn't get along very well either. So then he goes to England--returns later to France under an assumed name, and died in '78. Okay, about Rousseau's work. I skip the first one, which I said is still dealing with sciences and social sciences. The disciplines are not separated from each other. But let me also mention that in '52 he writes an opera! And he writes a wonderful opera, Le Devin du Village. I have a CD of the opera and if I would know how to play music, I would show you some of his music. It's great music. Mozart was so excited that he actually wrote an opera following Rousseau's opera. He was in a big--I will talk about this later; I am a bit obsessed with music. Anyway, he was in a big conflict with the greatest French composer ever, Rameau; I'm sure many of you know the work of Rameau, a great eighteenth century musician. Well Rousseau was not quite as great a composer as Rameau but had a debate with him, and his music was to be an alternative to Rameau. Rameau wanted to write French music, and Rousseau was committed to Italian music: melody, belle canto. Right? That's what he loved. And that's what

Mozart in most of his operas loved. That's why Mozart loved Rousseau, rather than Rameau. Right? Okay, then second book, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. An absolutely great book; I don't have the time to work on this. And then in '62, the two big books you will be reading from: mile and The Social Contract. mile, '72. Some of the major themes --I mean, he writes about educational philosophy. Those of you who are heading to education, this book is a must. Right? You cannot be an educationalist without having read mile cover to cover. Right? This is the foundation of modern educational theory. And he follows the life of a young adult. And the main point is society corrupts--puts all the bad ideas in people's minds. So the real reason of education is to get rid of education what people got. Well I can't quite have the ambitions to do it in this course now, to get everything what you learned so far out of your mind, and to get the new ideas. But that's what Rousseau thought real education is. Education is negative education--probably wrong, but a very provocative idea. Right? And then he's the opposite of Hobbes. Man in nature is good--and foreshadows Marx, who also believed that. Now The Social Contract. Well the idea is that legitimate authority has to be authorized by those subjected to authority. And he advocated the first popular sovereignty. Right? It has to be done by the majority of men. He actually was not advocating voting rights for women yet; but at least voting rights for all men. But he also suggested that individuals know only their own interests. There must be a state which expresses the general will. We will talk about this a great deal later on. Adam Smith is the next one. Again, you want to be an economist, you have to read The Wealth of Nations, cover to cover, more than once; otherwise you are not an economist. So we will be dealing with Adam Smith. He was born in 1723, studied at the University of Glasgow, and later on Oxford--became a professor of logic and a professor of moral philosophy--extremely interesting that the most utilitarian economist was a professor of moral philosophy. And, in fact, his first book is called The Theory of Moral Sentiments. It is all about ethics, rather than rational calculation. And then he travels in France--meets [?] all kind of people, returns to Glasgow, and finally '76 writes the book--what those of you who are heading into business will have to read, The Wealth of Nations. And he died in '96. There is two Adam Smiths: one who is talking about the self-interested individuals. All of us act rationally, and the individual is acting--pursuing self-interest--fulfill social interest. This is-- but in The Theory of Moral Sentiment he's writing about sympathy, he's writing about the helping hand. He's writing about God, rather than just business and self-interest. And there has been a library of literature whether there are two Adam Smiths, or whether they

complement each other and there is really only one theory and one good economic theory which is both ethical and rational and calculative. Okay. And this is The Wealth of Nations. Well one big issue is that he promotes self-interest. Right? People should be acting out of self-interest in order to achieve the common good, and people are the best judge of that interest, not the government. Right? Well this is very much a question for today. Healthcare reform, do we need the government to tell us what kind of healthcare reform we need? Adam Smith probably would say no, you don't need the government; you should judge for yourself what kind of healthcare you want. And then he develops the labor theory of value, that all value is created by labor. He develops in interesting way that foreshadows Karl Marx later on. And then, of course, he's known about the idea of the invisible hand. While the invisible hand is not that obvious. He uses the term three times in his work, and each time he's using it in a different sense. One, it means simply the invisible hand is the free, unregulated market. That's how we normally understand it today. Then he is using it as the hand of God. And then he is actually using it as the hand of Jupiter, as the bad hand, as the fate. So we will discuss this a great deal. It's real fun. Okay, then John Stuart Mill, and in fact Harriet Taylor, who is a companion later in life--very important for his work. Well he was born in London and was actually brought up by Jeremy Bentham. Jeremy Bentham is the theorist who created what later was coined by John Stuart Mill "utilitarianism." The idea, or the central idea, of Bentham's work is that we are, all of us, seeking pleasure and try to avoid pain. That's what explains human behavior--utility, this is what we want to avoid. And the correct action is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. Now Mill had a nervous breakdown in 1926 [correction: 1826]. He found Bentham's theory too oppressive. He met also Mrs. Harriet Freedman [correction: Taylor], who was married at that time, and had an interesting triangle--Mr. Taylor, Mrs. Taylor and Mill--until Mr. Taylor died, and that's when they actually got married. Harriet Taylor was quite a feminist and had a big impact on the thinking of John Stuart Mill. Harriet died, unfortunately, very early, and Mill later on wrote his most important book after Harriet's death, but probably greatly influenced by Harriet Taylor. Now his work. He established a utilitarian society but eventually became a revisionist because--I will explain it in a minute--because he said there are really higher values, which are also utilities, rather than just seeking pleasures. He wrote On Liberty, Utilitarianism, and finally on The Subjection of Women.

The most important work is probably his work The Subjection of Women, which has inspired many feminists, even up to this day. He argued that women are actually worse in their conditions than slaves because man expects women even love, rather than just obedience. At least from slaves they don't expect love; that's the bottom line. Then Karl Marx. Well he was born in 1818. Studied at Bonn and Berlin. I probably can rush though of his life--probably better known than others. Met in '44 Friedrich Engels. Was expelled from France for revolutionary activities. In '49 he moves to London, became involved in politics, and then finally died in 1883. His major works are the Paris manuscripts you will be reading from--it's young Marx about alienation, the German ideology, the foundations of what is called historical materialism--the Communist Manifesto, a pamphlet, which you will read from it some still interesting arguments. And finally the major work, Das Capital. This is Das Capital. And I'll just skip the rest and go on to Friedrich Nietzsche because I'm already running out of time. Well Nietzsche was born in [1844]'44 as a son of a Lutheran minister--studied at the University of Bonn--for awhile was a professor at Basel--met, became great friends, with Richard Wagner. Then became bitter enemies later on, and I will explain to you what is the reason of friendship and animosity. He actually got a nervous breakdown, and the last ten years of his life he was just out of touch; he was insane. His major work is what we will be discussing--was written in '87. It is the The Genealogy of Morals. And again, I will have to skip what his contributions are. He is the first of the postmodern theorists. He questions absolute rationality, and the major bottom line is all knowledge is from a certain perspective--including the moral values cannot be rooted in some universalistic principles. Sigmund Freud is another author we will be dealing with. Born in [1856] '56 and lived a very, very long life. Moved to Vienna, studied medicine, and of course discovered psychoanalysis and created the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society, still a major movement. In [1938] 38, left Vienna for London. His major work is the first one, The Studies of Hysteria. This is when psychoanalysis is being discovered. The Interpretation of Dreams in '88 [correction: 1899], Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, and the two papers what we will be reading from, The Ego and the Id, and Civilization and Its Discontents. Again, I will just skip. I will put this on the internet, a brief summary of The Ego and the Id and Civilization and Its Discontents.

Just very briefly, Max Weber. A German historian, a legal theorist and sociologist. Born in Frankfurt. [correction: Erfurt]. Studied at Heidelberg and elsewhere. Had also a nervous breakdown. Recovers in '92 [correction: 1902]. Beginning to work on religion, and writes Economy and Society in 1920. The major work is what you will be reading, The Protestant Ethic, in 1903/1904, and sections of his major unfinished work, Economy and Society. Again, I'll just skip and go to our last author, Emile Durkheim, a French social scientist, who was born in '[1858] 58, as a son of a rabbi, but became an atheist later on and reconverted back to religiosity later in life--was a professor in France. The major works are, what you will be reading from, The Division of Labor, then The Rules of Sociological Method, this wonderful book, the Suicide. And what you will not be reading from for this course is The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. So that's about the course. And I hope very much I didn't scare you, but made you interested in it. I will put the slides on the internet so you can skim on them leisurely. There are more syllabi on the table, and of course everything is on the internet.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 2 Transcript September 8, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Then let's go on to Thomas Hobbes. And I do something what probably not everybody does in a kind of history of ideas course: I give you an overview of the individual whom you were reading from, and around some sense of the historic times they lived in. Occasionally I get negative comments in my course evaluations for this. People want just to talk about the text, what they have to know. There are some people who like it, to see well this is how Thomas Hobbes looked like, and who the character was. So therefore I still will do this. I think what I will try to do is to go very fast through the sort of individual's life and history; sort of to have my cake and eat it, right? To give those of you who are interested in the historical context, at least briefly; and those who are not particularly interested, not to bore them with it. But you can go back to the internet and get even more detail. Okay, so we'll start this with Thomas Hobbes. Whether Foundations of Modern Social Thought should start with Hobbes or not, that's a question. In some other courses I've taught, occasionally I started with Thomas [correction: Francis] Bacon; I will talk about him very briefly later on. But in some ways arguably Thomas Hobbes is the first who laid the foundations of modern social science. He was a genuine scientist, and a formidable one, and an extremely controversial figure, addressing a number of very important issues. We are all still very divided, particularly on human nature. Are we by nature good, or are we by nature evil? I think probably half of the crowd here would go one way; the other half would go another way. And I hope to be able to discuss that in the discussion sections. Anyway there are a number of very important issues that Thomas Hobbes framed, and which have a great deal of impact on later social scientists--of course, on Locke, but also on Adam Smith, on Nietzsche, on Freud, on Max Weber and others. Okay, so this is Thomas Hobbes, and let me just very briefly talk about his life. I mentioned that--in the introductory lecture--he was born in 1588 in Westport. I also mentioned that his father was a vicar and he had actually a fistfight with a clergyman in, of all places, in a cemetery which was absolutely no-no by that time. So he had to skip and disappear and leave young Thomas behind in the care of an uncle who was actually a glover, produced gloves. And this all happened under the rule of Queen Elizabeth. I will talk about this a little later. In 1602, he went to Oxford, to Magdalene Hall, and then in '08 he graduated, and he became a tutor of William Cavendish II who became at one point a very important politician.

In 1610, he went to France and Italy. It is very important because he met Galileo and he was absolutely turned on by Galileo and physics of his time. I already mentioned that Hobbes cannot be classified in any of the disciplines. He even cannot be classified as a social scientist. He was as much a mathematician--I gather a pretty bad mathematician--but also he made important contributions to sciences, particularly to optics. Well, he had a close association with a person whom you may have heard of, Francis Bacon. And who was Francis Bacon, and what is his influence? Francis Bacon was a philosopher who rejected the Aristotelian logic and system, which basically was a speculative system-started out from some major assumptions and through deductions developed his philosophical system. As I said, occasionally I've taught this course by starting with Francis Bacon because Bacon, in some ways, is the Founding Father of modern sciences. Because he said every scientific investigation should start with induction, from sensual observation, and what you cannot observe, you should not assume it does exist. Right? Therefore he advocated a methodology which was exactly the opposite of the Aristotelian methodology, which was deductive. He advocated induction. Now he was very closely affiliated with William Cavendish and had a great deal of impact on Hobbes initially, though eventually Hobbes changed actually his mind. And he went to Europe and, among other things, he spent time--he knew where to spend time. He went to Paris, and he began to investigate natural sciences, Galileo and Descartes, in particular. Descartes was a great deal of importance for Hobbes. From Galileo he learned an alternative to Bacon's inductive method. Galileo offered a methodology that, by and large, social scientists today who believe in normal social science subscribe to. Namely that was the methodology, what Galileo called the resolutive-compositive method. It basically meant that you start with deduction. Right? You have some initial hypotheses. Then you move to observation, sensual observation, and from the sensual observation you make inductions. And you make that and you test your hypotheses. That's how we would say it today. And this is what Bacon learned from Galileo and adapted his methodology. Now this is Ren Descartes, one of the greatest philosophers of his times and of all times. Descartes ascribed to something what I call dualism. Right? Dualism really meant that he separated the soul and body from each other, and Hobbes rejected this idea of dualism because he suggested that--in fact, they were engaged in a big debate on optics, what we do see. And he, Hobbes, was advocating that there must be a real object whose movement we see, what we actually can see. So he rejected the dualism.

And then he wrote--I mentioned very briefly--his trilogy: De Corpore, this is about the human body, De Homine, about man, and finally De Cive, about society. I see this as formidable and something which appeals a great deal to social scientists today. Right? To try to develop a theory of society which begins actually with biology, with biological processes, and build it up gradually from biology to understanding of the social, of the individual, and from the individual to understand society. That's highly controversial. There are many social scientists who reject it. But today there are many social scientists who are greatly attracted to this, and we see a re-emergence today of sciences and social scientists. Well Hobbes entered politics as a Royalist when William Cavendish entered politics. And, in fact, Hobbes translated, I also mentioned, Thucydides, basically because Thucydides expressed some skepticism about the democracy in Athens. And he was greatly skeptical about democracy and believed the need for a strong central authority. Well these were very troubled times, troubled times and religious conflicts. I'll skip this one because I know you are all very familiar with British history. But it all started with Henry VIII who had a very troubled marital relationship. Right? He had three wives; divorced one, executed the second one in search for a son from one of his wives. But in the process of divorcing, he split from the Roman Catholic Church, and that's when Church of England emerged, and that's how England became Protestant of a sort. Well again, as I said, I'll skip this one and go on. Well this is the eldest daughter of Henry VIII, Mary I, called Bloody Mary. She inherited the throne. She was trying to establish Roman Catholicism but had to resign. There was too much resistance against it so [s]he had to resign and give the throne to his [her] younger sister, Elizabeth. And this is Queen Elizabeth. And Queen Elizabeth was at the time of Puritanism under a great deal of pressure of Puritans who wanted to get rid of Catholics altogether from government in England. This became a very important issue later on. And New Haven has its Puritan connections. Anybody is from Davenport College? Nobody is from Davenport. Oh my goodness. So no real Puritans around here. Well that's a shame. Anyway, this was Reverend John Davenport. He was a Puritan who settled in New Haven, with his followers, in 1638. And already, of course, in I think 1703, the Puritans created this institution, and they were basically running this institution until the late nineteenth century--not anymore. Okay. Now there will be a great deal of conflicts between--yeah, Mary [correction: Elizabeth] was called the Virgin Queen. Well whether she was a virgin or not is unclear, but she clearly had a lot of very close friendships with various men in her life. But she never married, and never

gave birth to a child. She was actually a very good queen, a smart, good queen by the challenges of the time. But she was the last one, and died without a son. And then the Crown went over to the Stuarts, and they were a total disaster. James I was already a disaster, and Charles I was a real disaster. And they were in a collision course with parliament, and there was a constant war in England--civil war--culminating in '42. And finally Charles I was executed in '49, and Oliver Cromwell came to power. Now--well here I give you a picture of the execution of Charles I. If you don't believe it, you can see it. Well Hobbes got into some trouble at that time because he was too close to the Royalists, and he had to flee England in 1640, ahead of time, and he went to live in Paris. He was very close there to the Royalist exiles, and in '51 he completed his major book, Leviathan--what we will be talking about in a minute. Well Leviathan became an extremely controversial book. It was very controversial in his times--became actually a big hot topic in the nineteenth century. And it's a very hot topic in the last thirty or forty years because a lot of economists and political scientists who are interested in rational choice theories discovered in Thomas Hobbes the first rational choice theorist. Actually he's a wonderfully lucid mind, and if you read the text, and you know enough mathematics, you could do a lot of his propositions in mathematical equations. What else an economist wants to do? Right? It must be true if you can put it into an equation. Right? Well that's what certainly Thomas Hobbes is available to do, because of extremely lucidity of his mind. Well it was therefore a controversial book--also for the Royalists. Because in '51, Hobbes-and we will talk about this in great detail--was considering that probably people should be allowed to transfer their loyalty to a new authority which offers safety. Right? And that's what the Royalists did not want to hear--that Cromwell actually can become a legitimate ruler. And that's what, in a way, the book Leviathanforeshadows. So he better have to skip out of Paris and go back to London. This is the First Edition of Leviathan, '51. This is about the idea that people are by nature evil, and we need an all powerful sovereign to avoid the state of war of everyone against everyone else--a powerful proposition. Again, I would think probably half of the people in this classroom, when really think hard about it, do believe Hobbes's argument; half of them would be violently opposed to the argument. Right? So it's a very nice topic, to have heated discussions in the discussion sections. Leviathan is a sea-monster: the state or the sovereign. We need to keep order as such. Okay. There were a great deal of controversies around him. He actually was publishing rather neutral stuff, only attacking universities--which is always a good thing to do, right?

But when in 1660 the monarchy was restored, and Charles II, the son of Charles I became king, Hobbes was invited back to the court, and it looked like he will be just fine right now as a Royalist. Not so, because in '66 there was a fire in London, and because of this fire--some people believed that this fire was the revenge of God because of the sinful New York--not New York--London. Right? And they were therefore trying to find the guilty one. And who was that? Of course, Thomas Hobbes with his materialism. Right? No soul. So how is then eternal life possible? This must be an atheist. His books should be burned, if not himself. So they did not burn his book and himself, but he certainly was out of grace and died in '79. He was greatly admired in Continental Europe, but was very controversial in England. And well, if you don't believe there was a fire in London, here is the proof. Right? There is the great fire of London, '66, which it looked like Los Angeles to me. Right? Well okay. Well it killed 3000 people, right? The fire brigade was not as effective as today is in Southern California. Okay? Now that's about the person and the times. I think extremely for my--as far as I'm concerned--extremely important to understand this, the work, if you know the times when he lived in. All right, so now let me go on and talk to Leviathan. And here we go. This is the First Edition of Leviathan, which came out in 1651, in two big volumes. Each one was 500 pages long. Well this is the structure of the book. The first part is on man, and the first few chapters are about the mechanisms. Because of Galileo, Hobbes was obsessed with the idea of motion. So he described the biological motions, what moves man: senses, imagination, speech, reason, and so on and so forth. Then chapter six is a fun chapter. It is about appetites, desires, aversions and fears, and the theory of voluntary action. I will talk about this. This is really very insightful, very important--a very great deal of impact on contemporary times, and I hope you can also relate to it individually. And then chapter seven to eleven is the relationship between people as such. And then finally the state of nature and the two laws of nature. We will have to talk about this in greater detail. So Part II is about commonwealth. It's about really the first theory of politics--the rights and duties of the governments and the subjects. There are some very interesting arguments here; that actually the sovereigns also have duties, not only simply rights. And then parts III and IV offer some theological justification what he does. Part III and IV, I think very rarely read, or at least I see very few citations to it.

So what are the major themes of the book? First, about the theory of human nature. The second one is the relationship between nature and the theory of social contract. Hobbes is really the first of the contractarians, who advocates that what brings society together is a social contract. If you want to understand society, you have to understand that we have contracts with each other. And then finally the theory of the sovereign. Right? The major desire, the essence of Hobbes's work, is to try to find an identifiable sovereign. Right? He lived in turbulent times when you did not know who the sovereign is. Is this the king? Is this the landlord? Are these the burghers? Is this the parliament? Who on earth is the sovereign? He wanted to find one identifiable sovereign--we can all agree, this is the proper source of law. Right? That's what he was obsessed with. Okay. So let me then move on and about human nature. What are the themes here? Well one important argument is that man will deliberate between appetites and aversions, and as a result it will act voluntarily. Well that's a fascinating issue--an issue we cannot get rid out of our hair. Well when I was your age, we always were vehemently debating the question: Do we have free will or we don't have free will? Right? Our action is over-determined. This is exactly the question what Hobbes is talking about and develops the idea of voluntary action which is kind of halfway between absolute free will and complete determination. Right? The idea is that we are driven by appetite, by desires. We will talk in this course later on about Sigmund Freud who was talking about drives. Right? There are drives which makes us move. These are what Hobbes called appetite, a few centuries before Sigmund Freud. But then he said we also have aversions, we have fears. There are things what we want, but we have fears that we won't be able to achieve what we want, and therefore we have to somehow negotiate out between our desires, appetites, and our fears or aversions. And what comes out is voluntary action. We have a choice. Right? We have to measure up what the price of our action will be, and then we decide whether it is worth to pay this price or it is not worth to pay this price. So I see somebody whom I desire a great deal, I thought it would be a great partner for me. But in order to approach that person and to say, "Can I have a date?" it has risks because it may say, "Go to hell." Right? And I don't want to be rejected. Right? I have fears that I will be rejected. So I will be measuring up, right? And some of you, if you are in such a situation, if you sense that the answer will be no, you don't place a phone call, and you will never get that person. Right? The fear overrules the appetite. Or others will say, "Heck." You know? "If they say no, then I will try a second time, I will try a third time, and if it's no a third time, then I'll give up." Right? Okay, so this is voluntary action. Right? This is freedom. Right? You are free to decide whether you want to try it again. Right? Whether you want to achieve your appetites.

And then the second point is we will seek power. The essence of human nature is that we are striving for power. Again an issue, a very good issue to discuss at the discussion section. Again, I think half of the class will probably agree with Hobbes, that people are actually trying to dominate others. Others will say we are much more benevolent. We are actually nice people, we don't want to dominate. Well we will see his argument for it. Well he said actually--and the last point is, you know--if we want to survive, we will need an all powerful sovereign. So voluntary action. He actually said there are two kinds of motions. One motion is what he calls vital motions, and these are stuff like, you know, food, that we want to have food or something. And there is what he calls--well it sounds strange today-animal motions. But this is what I think is better called voluntary motions which actually has something to do with appetites or desires, or aversions, and how to deal with this. So let me just speak about appetites and aversions. Again, I don't want to read the text. I will put it on the internet for you. It just describes what I have said, that we all have appetites, we have desires, we have needs. And in order to satisfy our needs, it always has costs, and therefore we have to figure out whether it's worth the cost for us to satisfy that need. Right? And therefore we have a certain degree of freedom. We can't do whatever we want to do, because we may not have the resources to afford it. Or we want to have many things, and then we will have to prioritize what we want to have more and spend more on it. As you can hear, Hobbes is very close to what later on becomes the utilitarians. Right? Very close to what Adam Smith will argue in his economic theory, or what John Stuart Mills will represent in his utilitarianism. Or, for that sake, what most economists today believe, who call themselves neoclassical economists, or who identify themselves as "rat" choice, or rational choice; economists or political scientists or sociologists, for that sake; there are some sociologists who also subscribe to rational choice. All right, this is also very lovely: deliberation and the will. And he said, well when we have desires and we have aversions, that's when we're actually beginning to figure out--we deliberate what on earth is worse for us. And the end of this deliberation we have a will. We decide I go for it, I want that date. Right? Or we decide I don't want it, because the costs are too high. Okay? And this is what we call the will. Right? Your will will be that you decide I go for it, or you decide, no, that's not worth for me, it would be silly--I make a clown out of me, I just don't do it. Right? That's the will. Well about power. The power is unending. Right? He said there is a general inclination for us to seek power, our influence on other people. And he said there is nothing evil about it. It is necessary because if we want to survive we will have to try to exercise influence on others.

We have to seek power as such. An extremely important idea, which foreshadows especially Nietzsche and Max Weber who comes up later in this course. Well then here comes a very interesting argument about equality; a very exciting argument. He is one of the very first philosophers who claims that we are all born equal. Now for you this is of course obvious, but it was not obvious in 1651 that people--nobles and serfs, slaves and slaveholders--were all born equal. And he said, in fact--also extremely important--that we are equal actually in strengths because even the weakest person has the capacity to kill the strongest one. Right? Even David can kill Goliath. Right? But he said the same goes intellectually; in fact, intellectually we are even more equal than by physical power. So that sounds wonderful, and you probably all agree with it. But then he makes a very controversial point, and probably there are some people in this room who agree with him, but others probably will disagree with it. Namely, he said what comes from this equality is this unending fight; that because we desire the same thing-- and he operates with the scarcity assumption, that what is desirable is actually scarce--that we'll fight each other. Right? And we can't fight each other because we are equal--because we can kill each other, we can outsmart each other. This is a very unusual argument. Right? He is a very ironic guy. Right? He always says things that you may not want to hear. Right? And this is something who believes in equality do not want to hear; that, in fact, equality can be interpreted as the reason for social conflict, rather than the solution for social conflict. That is his argument. Very interesting, very unusual--right?--and again, probably the closest to Nietzsche as we will see. Well then we have--this is, I won't read it; save it, this is the page you want to print, because for the rest of your life, if you ever want to cite Hobbes, this is the citation. Namely that we will therefore be in a war of everyone against everyone else, for the above reasons. Now about the question of social contract. Well he operates with this idea of state of Nature. And we will talk a lot about this. Because among most of the social theories--Founding Fathers of social theories--there is a debate, what is the original nature of humans? And it's controversial whether this is a useful concept at all, the state of nature. But he did believe in this. Well there are really two basic laws of nature. One law of nature is that you are forbidden what is harmful to you. Right? You have to pursue self-interest. Here again you see the rational choice theory speaking. Right? People are self-interested, and this is the law of nature that we should be self-interested. Right? We have to do everything in order to preserve our life. But there is a second law of nature, he argues, and this requires that we--what you would not do--yeah, not to do others what you would not want them to do to you. Right? This is--again, you may want to save this citation. A very important citation--foreshadows major

theories of ethics, which come many, many years or decades or centuries after him, particularly Emanuel Kant and his categorical imperative. Okay. Well in the state of nature if there are no restraints, there is no civilization. That's a very interesting idea, that pressure limiting the state of nature is necessary. This is again foreshadows absolutely Sigmund Freud and his theory of civilization; that civilization comes out of the repression of drives, rather than satisfaction of drives. If whatever you always need is immediately satisfied, there is no civilization. Civilization comes from sufferings, from suppressed desires. That's when you go back and you create great pieces of art or you become a great scientist because you suppress your sexual and other desires. Right? It's always from suffering the great products of humankind are coming from. Right? That's what he's saying, and that's of course what Sigmund Freud will say. Okay, there are there are the two laws of nature. And again, I don't want to elaborate on it; this is quite obvious. He said there is the elementary law of nature, the first right, that we have to do whatever is necessary for self-protection. And the other one is that we actually should consider others, what others will do. Well, and then the contract. Well what follows from the Second Law of Nature is that we put our rights aside and transfer it to others. Well this transfer of rights, there is some reciprocity in it. We give up some rights, and we get something in exchange--protection or safety or something, as such. And when we transfer this right to somebody else, this is what is called the covenant or social contract. As far as I can tell, this is the first formulation of the theory of social contract. It's not quite the theory of social contract that we will read from Locke or from Rousseau. Because he said two, again, controversial comments. One, that, in fact, a contract we entered by fear is also obligatory. Just because we were forced into a contract out of fear does not mean that we can walk out of this contract whenever we want to. Right? So it's very much status quo. He's a conservative guy. I think it has to be understood, he's deeply conservative. And then he also said that in fact a former contract makes void a later contract. So there is no divorce, to put it this way. Right? Once you swear, you know, that well I'll stay with you until we live, that's about it. Right? There is no new contract which voids it. Now very briefly about the power of the sovereign. Its power is to produce safety to the people. Right? He lives in unsafe times. So he wants safer-- safety. But obedience is only due to the extent the sovereign can deliver this safety, and if it cannot--why Charles I couldn't-well you could withdraw your obedience, your loyalty from it. Okay, now what is important in his time, to find out who the sovereign is. And the sovereign actually can be--and I just point out two words from this citation--can be transferred on one man, the king, or upon one

assembly of man. That's, I think, extremely important. Though he was very strongly in favor of absolutism, he did consider that the sovereign can be a properly assembled body of man. But how they will be properly assembled, he doesn't have the faintest idea, or doesn't have the guts to say it. Right? It will become much more clear in Locke, and particularly in Rousseau, where the sovereign is, and it becomes, of course, crystal clear in the American Constitution, which starts, "We the people." Right? That's where the sovereign is. In Hobbes's time, it was not quite we the people, but he did consider that it may not be the royalty, the king. Right? Now the sovereign does have duties. The office of the sovereign has to procure safety of the people. And he said--he adds to this; extremely important--that it is not bare preservation. It has to give more than just survival, as such. And therefore you can expect for the sovereign to deliver this, and if the sovereign does not deliver, you can withdraw your loyalty. So even though he is a theorist of Absolutism, he does see the need and possibility that you withdraw your loyalty and you transfer it to a good king, to a good sovereign, as such. Well the question is also what are the good laws? People say good laws are the laws which are good for the sovereign. And he said--and this is extremely important, I highlighted it--it is not so, not true, that good laws serve only the sovereign. The good laws should serve the people. Well, and this is the end of it. What are his contributions and what are his shortcomings? Well his emphasis is on peace and order. Right? But what he does not consider, that the sovereign might abuse his power. And this will be the big criticism of Hobbes by later theorists; particularly by Locke. We will set it already Wednesday. Right? Locke is primary considered by the possibility that the sovereign may abuse its power. Well, and then he actually does not develop, as a result, any theory how power can be held in checks. There is no theory of checks and balances. There is one in Hobbes [correction: Locke], and even one more developed in Montesquieu. And the American Constitution does not come from Hobbes, but it comes from Locke, and particularly from Montesquieu. Montesquieu is the one which defined that checks and balances which entered the American Constitution. Well he was an apologetical theorist of an enlightened absolutism--not any absolutism, right? He was against real monsters, as I already demonstrated it. As a result, he was not acceptable to the monarchs because he put too much limitations on their powers; but he was not acceptable to the emergent bourgeois class because it attributed too much power to the monarch.

And therefore nobody really liked Hobbes, but nobody liked--and you may not like him. What is impossible is to ignore him; you have to listen to him. Well see you Wednesday and Thursday in discussion sections.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 3 Transcript September 10, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: If so, then let's go on to John Locke, another major scientist and another major founder of political and social philosophy and theory. I'll do again what I did

with Hobbes. We will again do briefly, for those who are not interested in lives and history. So first I introduce you, our friend today, John Locke. He was born in 1642 in Somerset. His father was a captain in a parliamentary army; a kind of small gentry, not particularly wealthy but not poor either. In '52, he went to Oxford, and it was noted that he was "idle, unhappy and unremarkable" in Oxford. Well if you do not have a 4.0 at Yale, don't panic. Right? You still can be John Locke. There are somebody who blossom later; he was a late blossomer. But by the end he was doing well, and in fact he became an official; you know, English universities called teachers officials. Officers--even at Yale, you know, we are called officers of Yale Corporation--kind of, I think, an old English tradition. Anyway, he was admitted, and then in '64 he gave an address to the college. And this is a very important address because this is when we can learn the views of young John Locke. And quite clear from this address that, in fact, early in his life he was very traditionalist and quite authoritarian: The kings are good and the people are beasts. So in a way he was Hobbesian. In fact, you know, in the Two Treatises he stays away discussing Hobbes. But, of course, the ghost of Hobbes is all over the place. Right? Well, a little about the times--'49, I already mentioned, Charles I was executed. The monarchy was abolished for a time. Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of England. But though he was very popular among many, he really could not control the struggle between the military and the parliament, and the chaos--what Hobbes experienced in the '30s and early '40s--in some ways continued. It was probably not as bad as before but was still very bad. Well when Cromwell died, his son tried to become Lord Protector--did not succeed, and finally it was decided to call back Charles I's son, Charles II, to become King of England. So the monarchy was restored. So these will remain turbulent years, and, of course, the kind of turbulence does color what Locke stood for. Well, just a picture of Oliver Cromwell for you, and then Charles II, who was King of England for twenty-five years. Well there is a New Haven connection to all of this. Not all of you may know that. But I'm sure everybody knows where Whalley Avenue is, and where Goffe Street is. Well this has something to do with England and John Locke. Two of the judges of the trial of Charles I, Edward Whalley and William Goffe, were accused of regicide. And they escaped England in 1660, and they went to Boston. Well they did the wrong choice, right? They went where Harvard is, rather than going where Yale is. Okay? But Boston was an unsafe place, too much under the control of the crown. So therefore they went to the right place, right? And where can it be? Of course, New Haven. So they came to New Haven. And you probably know where West Rock is. Anybody was up on West Rock? A few of them.

Well, in West Rock you see a sign which says "Judges' Cove." So if you go there, there is a little cove and, according to the legends, Whalley and Goffe hided in this cove. So here you go, history comes back home. Then they moved actually to Milford and lived in a house there, and I have a picture of this house. I don't swear my life on it that this is really the house in which they hided, but that's what some historian tells me. Okay, then there is a turning point in the life of John Locke in '66 when he meets a formidable person, whose name was Anthony Ashley Cooper. Well, he was a high aristocrat, but he nevertheless was anti-Royalist. He joined the parliamentary forces against Charles I, and was also a member of the State Council during the republican times. But he supported the restoration of the monarchy in '66 [correction: 1660], and held very high offices between 1660 and '73, including the position of Lord Chancellor. Well he became the Earl of Shaftesbury, out of the grace of the King, and usually he is referred to as the Earl of Shaftesbury. Well in '66, he went to Oxford to have a cure for his liver disease, and this is when he met John Locke as a doctor. And John Locke became his physician and, let's put it this way, his friend. Probably a bit of a strong statement because the social status difference was too big to really call it as a friendship, but I will say a word about their relationship. And here is the Earl of Shaftesbury. Now in '67, Locke moved to Ashley's house at Exeter House in the Strand in London. And I'm sure those of you who've visited London know exactly where the Strand is; that's still where sort of the legal establishment can be found in London. So he lived there in his household. Like, you know, in feudal times clients lived with their master's house and ate on the master's table, or with other servants' table; even high-ranking people occasionally were not allowed to eat with the lord. Well he became Ashley's confidant, advisor and surgeon. He performed a surgery, and I think medical scientists are still puzzled whether this was some path-breaking surgery or whether he just had good luck--that he'd helped Ashley. Ashley had a surplus production of his liver and he implanted a tube into his abdomen area to let this surplus flow out, and certainly Ashley felt much better after the surgery. Well we know that occasionally the doctors say the surgery was successful and the patient died. Now this was a case when the patient was cured, but we don't know whether the surgery had anything to do with it. Right? But for those of you who are in sciences, this is just a proof that in the seventeenth century, you know, there was really no distinction yet what sciences are: what philosophy is, and what social sciences are. There was a difference what theology was and the rest of knowledge was. But the rest of the knowledge was all the same, and sort of Locke was also a scientist. In '67,

he wrote an essay, the "Essay on Toleration." And this is a departure now from Hobbes. This actually advocates the right to dissent. As we have seen, not that Hobbes at all cost would have resisted every dissent. Right? You remember we discussed that--that Hobbes also considered if the king does not deliver, you can transfer your loyalty from the king to another sovereign. But the "Essay on Toleration" does not simply make it as such an exceptional case, you know, but it makes a big argument that the right of dissent is an important individual right. He was also then elected in '68 as a member of The Royal Society. The Royal Society is like what in the United States we'd call the American Academy of Sciences--pretty hard to get into it; was then and it is now. In '79, he was already working on the Second Treatise. [correction: The Two Treatises] Assumedly to some--I will talk about this--there is some debate when the First Treatise and the Second Treatisewere written. And that's not irrelevant, actually, the timing of the two essays. Well there was, on the other hand, a conflict between Charles II and the parliament and the Earl of Shaftesbury and, of course, by implication John Locke. Charles II had only illegitimate children; he had quite a few of them, right? I don't know whether he liked children, but it looks like he liked the technology, at least. Well therefore, you know, since the children were all illegitimate, the legitimate heir to the throne was his brother, James, and the only problem with James was that he was Roman Catholic. And we already know from Hobbes that this was a big trouble at that time in Britain. So the parliament, and Shaftesbury himself, feared that Roman Catholics will restore their influence, and therefore the parliament's role will be reduced. And then in '73, the parliament was considering a so-called Test Act. And this is really an ugly act, because the Test Act meant that you have to be tested whether you are Roman Catholic or you belong to the Church of England, and if you are Roman Catholic then you should not hold certain offices. Right? This is just straight discrimination. But, you know, at that time it was kind of a defense against the Vatican and the role of the Pope. Well, because of Shaftesbury's support for this, he was dismissed as Lord Chancellor. Nevertheless, a few years later the parliament does pass the Exclusion Bill, and they are supporting James, one of the illegitimate children of Charles, as a successor to the throne. Well, and this is James Stuart, the brother of Charles II, and this is the other James, the Protestant, Shaftesbury's protge. Well, the Commons passed the law. And what Charles II did? He dismissed the parliament. Well, Shaftesbury was arrested--put into the Tower of London. You probably, if you were in London, you visited the Tower, or at least had a look at it. And after he was released, he was

smarter than to stay in England; he went to a right place--I actually like his taste--he went to the Netherlands. If I had to be exiled, I would prefer to be in Amsterdam, of all places. Okay, in '83 the Whigs--the Whigs at that time were kind of the Democratic Party. The Tories were the Republican Party and the Whigs were the equivalent of the Democratic Party. Well the Whigs were accused to have been involved in a plot to overthrow the king, and some of them were executed. That was the Rye House Plot. Well Locke was smart enough. He knew he may be next in line so he also made the right choice; he ran to Amsterdam. Right? Well again, I don't swear that this was exactly the house where the plot took place. I'm even not sure that the plot took place at all, or whether this was an invention by the authorities. Well then there is a revolution in '88, and William of Orange becomes the king. Well the problem was that James II did not realize that even the Tories will not support his religious agenda. So he was actually overthrown, and then the Republicans and Democrats--I'm sorry, the Tories and Whigs--came together and they invited William to become King of England. And here is, William III, and the co-ruler, Queen Mary, his wife--was very much involved in politics and important. And Locke then now can return to England, and he felt safe in 1690 to do so. Well I will talk about this later; the Second Treatise may actually be a reflection of the change to the House of Orange, which is a change from absolutism to constitutional monarchy. And therefore the Second Treatise can be read as an ideology for a constitutional monarchy rather than absolutism. Whether this is the case, it is being debated. Locke died in 1704. Interestingly, you know, his major book, the Two Treatises on Government, was published in 1690, but it was published anonymously. He was concerned enough, even at that time, that he may run into trouble if he publishes this book. Okay, now I will be talking about the Two Treatises and the work now. So this is the Two Treatises of Government, which actually was--appeared in print in 1690, as you can see on the First Edition. Now, as I said, there is a debate about it, when the First and the Second Treatise was written. And there are two major Locke scholars; both spent all of their life studying Locke. Peter Laslett suggested that the Second Treatise was written really first, in 1679; it was all engaged in the debates about the Exclusion Bill. While Richard Ashcraft--he was my colleague at UCLA at one point; died unfortunately very young; a brilliant scholar--actually he argued that the Second Treatise was written in 1683. And it is a revolutionary work--that this is really the theory of constitutional monarchy and kind of popular sovereignty is being formulated for the first time.

This is really in strong clash--almost absolute negation--of Hobbes. Well not quite absolutely; we'll discuss some overlaps between the two arguments. But they both agree that that the first treatise was written in 1680, that's uncontroversial, and was published anonymously. So the First Treatise. Well I will not speak too much about this. The Second Treatise is really the big text everybody reads and cites. But theFirst Treatise takes on a book published by 1680 by Robert Filmer. This looks to me a very archaic book, but surprisingly it is still in print. You go on Google and you can buy Robert Filmer's book,Patriarcha. Well I don't necessarily recommend it because I think this is really archaic, and I don't think it's got any major contribution beyond challenging Locke to formulate a strong position against; that's, I think, the only reason why you may want to read Patriarcha. Well he was very much for absolutism and the absolute monarchy, and he advocated actually inequality. He said, "God set some men above others"; and he meant men. Right? Men are set over women, and older people, like me, are set over younger people, like you. Right? And the king over everybody else, right? So this inequality of power is coming from God. God decided that Adam inherits the earth, and then descendents of Adam, the sons and grandsons, receive their share of earth. Right? So you have to show your family tree, going back to Adam, who received the world as a grant, and who was the first king. So the kings should trace their family trees back to the first person of grace of God. Right? So there was a scripture argument. Right? God vested paternal authority in Adam, gave the earth as a grant to him. And the monarchical absolute power is inherited this way; there is a descent of the monarchical power. As I said, I see very little relevance of this argument. So I--but certainly it was important for Locke to have a straw man he could face his argument against--probably spends too much time debating Filmer. And you may have been a bit concerned about these theological controversies and theological arguments in the book, but otherwise he's really formulating the first big ideas for modern democratic theory. Okay, so now Locke engages Filmer on a number of levels. It actually engages him on the theological level, and he said, "Well, it's untrue that Adam received land as a grant. It was mankind who received the land as a grant from God." And then he moves on and he kind of makes a more technical argument. He said, "Well even if we assume that it was one single male who received land and all authority, how on earth you can trace yourself back to this?" This is not a real good way to legitimate somebody. How can Charles II shows that he has the answers through this way? So that is not the right way to do. And then he said, "Well, even if it could be done, it would be silly to do that. Right? Just because somebody is the proper ancestor, should not have--should not be the sovereign. What if that person is a jerk? Right?

Then you really want to have the right people to exercise authority." Right? It's, in his time, you know, a very daring argument. Now let's have a look at the Second Treatise, and the major themes--what he's engaged in. Like Hobbes, he begins with the statement: We are all born equal, and he has free--free and equal. But, as we will see, he draws a very different conclusion than Hobbes did, or by and large a different conclusion. And then he does agree with Locke that we need a common superior, a sovereign; a superior is necessary to avoid the state of war. Then he develops a fascinating theory of property, what we have to deal with, and then he makes this pathbreaking argument that what we need is rule by majority. He does not quite identify what that majority is. Right? This is not popular sovereignty yet, but the idea of rule by majority for the first time is formulated by John Locke. And acceptance of authority can be done only by consent, and what is needed--and this is the very big contribution of Locke--a separation of power, checks and balances. Right? This is what is completely missing in Hobbes, and he's making this path-breaking argument. So we are all born free and equal. Let me speak to this a little. Now what is political power? And he defines the three elements of political power. Right? Well this is the right to make law. There is also execution of law, and there is also--politics means the defense of the commonwealth against outside enemies. There are the three functions politics is serving. And this will be very important in his sort of divisions of powers, as such. Now, well if we want to understand what political power is, we have to see the origins of political power, and to try to understand why on earth people from the state of nature, where they were free and equal, move into civil society where they surrender some of their freedom and, we will see, will surrender some of their equality. So what is the origins of this equality? Well the first argument is very much counter-Hobbes. Right? Men are all made by God, the omnipotent, right? And we are his property; a kind of theological argument. And we are not--have not been created for the pleasures of one another. So there should not be any man who is a superior, by principle. Because we are free, right? Locke is a liberal, right? Hobbes is a conservative. So what we are experiencing now is the transition of philosophy from conservativism to liberalism; and liberalism, of course, will emphasize particularly freedom is the primary value. And in the state of nature, he said, we were all governed by reason. And that actually sort of--because we are all reasonable, we are born reasonable; we are born to be able to be rational. Right? And we should be able to understand that we are not supposed to harm each other.

You see, this is a very different argument than what we have seen from Hobbes, on Tuesday. Right? Hobbes said that we are actually learning morality out by interacting with others who are desiring the same stuff what we do. We are learning it from struggle, right? It does not assume that this comes out of our rationality, that we are reasonable and by nature good. He does assume that we are reasonable. Therefore why on earth we should not know that we should respect others? Well, but--and this then is where Locke comes the closest to converge with Hobbes--well there is on the other hand a danger that there will be a war, and in order to avoid war this is why we will subject ourselves to an authority and leave the state of nature. But he also makes a claim just to distance himself from Hobbes. He said it's not that the state of nature is necessarily war. We have to make a distinction between the state of war and state of nature because in the state of nature we are good and reasonable, but nevertheless it can turn into a state of war. And that's why we will have to join civil society and accept an authority. Well, and now comes again a very big difference. So he accepts the danger of war-he lived in times of war--and he accepts that we need an authority because of this. Now, but--and now here comes the big differences. Well we subject ourselves to authority of others, but this has to be done by consent. Right? Those who are accepting a sovereign have to consent to their subjugation, to authority. And the last citation is also extremely important: "Freedom of man under government is to have a standing rule of liberty, common to everyone of that society, and made by a legislative power erected in it." Right? So the legislative power, now this is the source of sovereign, is somehow in a proper way constituted. Right? This was not a problem really for Hobbes, not much, right? We could see that we'll be simply conferring sovereignty to a single king. Now Locke is very interested how the sovereign, the source of power to pass legislation, is being constituted. And again he's emphasizing--which was not in Hobbes--what is important is standing rules to assure liberty. Right? Not simply survival, right? Though we know Hobbes had it a more complex way. But liberty is the major issue, what we are seeking for. Well, and then he comes with an interesting idea: Why do we submit ourselves to authority and seek protections for our liberty? Because we want to protect our property. That's the role of the public authority: to protect property. It's a very realistic and important assumption--a question in which he and Karl Marx would probably agree. What is the role of the government? To guarantee the sacredness of private property. And he has interesting ideas about what property is, where that it is coming from. Very important. This foreshadows Adam Smith in some ways. Also foreshadows Karl Marx in another way. Well he starts with this idea that man [correction: God] had given the world to man in common, and therefore all the fruits belong to each member of the society. It's almost a socialist ideology, right?

And he continues along these lines. He said every man has a property in his own person, and the labor of what you produce is yours. Right? The product of your labor belongs to you. And we will see it's the first formulation what we will learn from Adam Smith and Karl Marx as the labor theory of value. Right? Labor belongs to the laborer, as such, because it was created by what is yours; the only thing what certainly is yours, and this is your own body, and your laboring capacity. He said, and I quote: "This labor being the unquestionable property of the laborer." And then this is a beautiful citation, I just love it: "Though the water running in the fountain be everyone's, yet who can doubt but that in the pitcher is his only who drew it out?" Bingo, right? How crisply, in one sentence, he can capture this wonderful idea that labor creates the value. Right? Wonderfully done. And, of course, a great influence on Adam Smith and Karl Marx. Well, but there are also limits on private property. Again, he almost reads like a socialist. He said, "Anyone grows as much as he will. To this I answer, 'not so'." Right? "God has given us all things richly." Well, but how far has he given it to us? To enjoy, right? And whatever is beyond this is more than your share. You have only in your--belongs to you, what you can actually enjoy; nothing what you accumulate. That's a very radical idea. He will back-pedal in a minute; I will show you how he back-pedals out of this very radical idea. The chief matter is, of course, earth. He said it's absolutely obvious that the property belongs to those who can cultivate it. Right? "As much land as man tills, plants, improves, cultivates and can use the products of, so much is his property." So the land belongs--it's not a notion of private ownership of the land, it's an ownership by the cultivator. And also let me just point out--I'm running out of time--there is a very important difference here. Right? What is central for Locke's argument is the abundance. He can make this argument because the primary assumption is that what we desire is available in great abundance to us. We have seen that Hobbes had the opposite idea. Right? We are fighting each other because what we actually desire is a scarce good, too many people want, and then we kill each other to get it. Right? So there is a scarcity assumption in Hobbes, and there is an abundance hypothesis in Locke, and you have to make up your mind who is appealing to you more. Do you think that the scarcity assumption is a better one, or the abundance argument is an empirically more appealing one? Well, and then, as I said, now he back-pedals. He knows he's going too far. He said, but God gave the world to man in common. But since he gave them for the benefit, well he basically did it to the industrious ones. So those who work harder should get more, rather than who do

not work that hard. And then he actually will go further. Well labor creates value, right? And the argument is that everything, what has been created as a value, has been created by--or almost everything; that's an interesting kind of equation at the end. Right? The products of the earth, useful to life, of man, he said nine-tenths are the effects of labor. Well I don't know if we can base it on--well what that really means and why on earth he makes that claim. But--now and here comes a very big qualification--with the invention of money, accumulation of property becomes possible. Right? And therefore as accumulation of money occurs, well then wealth can be hoarded up without injury to anyone. And this becomes again very important for liberal theory. You can't do anything by which you do not [correction: he did not mean to say "not"] injure somebody else, right? That should be prohibited and the government should step in, when they sense injury against somebody else. Right? Well now in order to preserve property, you will have to transfer power to the community, to civil society. There are some very important arguments here. It has to be by settled, standing rules, right? It has to be written down, it has to be agreed upon, and it has to be permanency; there must be a permanency closed rule. You need a predictable environment. And it has to be the same to all parties. You cannot make a law which applies to the serfs and a law which applies to the noblemen. It has to be the same law for everyone, as such. Well, and this is the origin of legislative and executive power of civil societies. Well there is a difference between absolute monarchy and constitutional monarchies. He said in an absolute monarchy you can appeal to the law to restrain violence against you by another subject of the crown. But he said in an absolute monarchy you cannot really appeal against the king. That's what--you know, in Communist societies you could not sue the government. Right? Even in Stalinist Russia you could sue your neighbor if your neighbor did steal something from you. But if the government did steal anything from you, you could not sue the Soviet government. Right? But a democratic system means--this is foreshadowed here-you can sue the government. Right? And, of course, in the United States you can sue the government. Well you can try. It will not always work but--good luck. Well and then he says-and this is fun and very, very good--well "to think that men are so foolish that they take care to avoid what mischiefs can be done to them--"--like your neighbor--"polecats or foxes, but are content not to think of the safety of the work by lions" is crazy. Lions are the kings, the big authorities. So don't just seek laws which protect you against your neighbor, seek laws which protects you against those in a position of authority and power. Right. And there will be no civil society unless this happens. Well he advocates then the

principle of rule by the majority. Right? Well what we need--a consent of every individual who made the community in order to create legitimate rule. And once this is arrived at, consent, that will bound everybody. And one can be subjected to authority only by consent. Well this consent can be tacit; it is not necessarily always explicit. You are born in the United States. You did not approve the Constitution of the United States. Nevertheless, you have to obey the Constitution of the United States. You have one chance not to do so. You can move to Afghanistan, if that's what you prefer. Right? So you don't have to go by American law; you can live under Islamic law when you move to a country ruled by Islamic law. And then the final major contribution, the separation of powers. And he makes a distinction between three types of powers: legislative, executive and federative powers. That's very different from Montesquieu, and different from the American Constitution--that the three branches are legislative, executive and juridical power. He makes a claim that the third branch is federative power. Federative power is a defense against outside enemies. And he said, "Look, what is important, that legislative power and executive power has to be separated from each other. It is absolutism if it is the same person, or the same authority, which passes the law and which also executes the law; we have to separate those." And well I don't have time to go into this; it's clear enough. And then there is the kind of federative powers. As far as the federative powers are concerned he said, "Well the federative powers may not be necessarily separated from the executive branch. It can be actually held by the executive branch, as such." As in many ways it is the-it's very unclear in the United States who actually has these federative powers. Right? By law it is the Congress which can declare only laws--wars. But, as we have seen, the United States was engaged in a number of major military actions, what commonly we call wars, though the war was never declared. Right? And it was the executive branch which de facto declared war and conducts war, occasionally without the consent--occasionally against the will of the House and the Senate. So it's a complex issue. But I think he was quite right that often the federative power and the executive power are the same. Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 4 Transcript September 15, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Okay, I have a lot to talk about today, and we move one century, and we move into another culture. Both are very important. We move from seventeenth century England to eighteenth century France. We move from a situation which was dominated by civil war, chaos and a yearning for a clear sovereign, and we move in a century,

you can call it of Enlightenment--that's where the term Enlightenment comes from, the French context--and a century of decadence. Eventually it leads to a revolution, but before the revolution there is a lot of fairly juicy decadence. So two different epochs and two different cultures. British individualism: Hobbes and Locke were methodological individualists. They thought the analysis should start always with the individual. You remember Hobbes--individual drives and fears--and then he builds up that society is starting always from the individual. Not the French. The French are methodological collectivists. They believe there is such a thing as society which is more than the sum total of the individuals, and somehow they know how to grasp it. So these are the changes, what you will see today, Thursday and next Tuesday, when we will be discussing Montesquieu and Jean Jacques Rousseau, before we return to British individualism, Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill. Don't ask me why this difference between the two cultures, but there is a lasting difference. Today's topic is Montesquieu, and I have a lot of fun stories to tell, but I'll try to limit my anecdotes so I can focus enough on the text and do not run out of time by the end. Okay, so that was Montesquieu. He was born as Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brde--was born in 1689 near Bordeaux. His father was from a noble family, but because he was a younger son he had to become a mercenary, and, in fact, he was fighting Turks in Hungary. He received a law degree nevertheless, from the University of Bordeaux, and in 1715 he did what many aristocrats did; he married a wealthy woman, Jeanne de Lartigue, which was helpful for him because he was not all that very wealthy, though he was a nobleman. His uncle was Baron de Montesquieu, and when he passed away Charles-Louis received his title, he became Montesquieu, and inherited his office, the presidency of the Parliament of Bordeaux. Don't think about it, it was not a very big deal and certainly did not offer income for a luxurious life--was not particularly affluent stuff and was not particularly powerful stuff. Now a bit about the times. Well here it is, Louis XIV, the heights of French absolutism. Well he was called the Sun King. And here is his emblem, the sun; he's shining like the sun. Well he actually claimed--that's a famous sentence, and important to understand Montesquieu-"L'tat c'est moi," I am the state. Well it was kind of an over-statement--not quite. He pretended to be more powerful than he actually was. The French absolutism did show already cracks, and the bourgeoisie was becoming already quite powerful under the times of Louis XIV. But he had the notion of French gloire, the glory, and he built this wonderful Palace of Versailles, showing what gloire or glory is. President de Gaulle also emphasized the French gloire. The French are very fond of it.

Okay, the eighteenth century was the Century of Enlightenment, called de Sicle of Lumire; lumire means the light. Well it was Descartes who transformed philosophy towards the cold view, cold look of reason--and that was the one which was spreading in eighteenth century England--culminating in the 1789 revolution. And we see two major steps in this direction: Montesquieu and Rousseau. Well one of the major accomplishment of the Enlightenment were the publications of Encyclopdie-the sort of predecessor

of Encyclopedia Britannica-- Diderot and d'Alembert edited, and which put together rationalistic scholarship of their time. Well here you have the First Edition of Encyclopdie. Well as Louis XIV passed away, his five-year-old great-grandson, Louis XV, became the king and ruled for a very long time. Well the decade of absolutism and royal authority continued, and we are really entering now, with 1715, one--probably the longest in modern history--the longest epoch of decadence and sexual permissiveness. It's an interesting kind of-seemed to recur in human history, right? Then you had a similar kind of permissiveness and sort of decadence--1890s until 1914; probably 1930. And then the 1960s, of course, when everything goes. Well this was a time of this kind. Well he was not particularly interested in governing, but he was very interested in beautiful women. Well he was quite a good looking guy when he was young, as well. So I'm sure women were quite interested in him too. And you know the name; Madame Pompadour was the most famous and most influential of his mistresses. As I said, it was becoming a time of sexual permissiveness, promiscuity pretty widespread--also affected Montesquieu. Here is Madame Pompadour, indeed a very beautiful person. But not only beautiful; she was extremely smart as well, as far as we can tell. She was an intellectual of very distinguished taste. She knew all people of the Enlightenment; Voltaire, one of the big troublemakers of his time. She supported Diderot and the project of Encyclopdie, which was unusual because royal authority did not really like this one. Well let me just give you a little ethnography, if you are interested: Des Liaisons Dangereuses. Pierre Chordelos de Laclos wrote a novel about the sexual mores of this time, which is called The Dangerous Relationships, Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Well there was two movies made of it. And anybody watched any of these movies? Nobody watched it. Wonderful movie. Well there are two versions: one by Roger Vadim, and that puts the whole story in French society of its time. And the other one is an American one: Stephen Frears, and it is Glenn Close who features in it. Well this is the Pierre [correction: Roger] Vadim movie. You can borrow it; do, you will have fun, and you will have an understanding what mid-eighteenth century in France was, and where Montesquieu and Rousseau are coming from. And, of

course, this is the American version with Glenn Close. She is already "rah", the person what she likes to play: the vicious woman. Okay. Now Montesquieu, well he lives in the century of Enlightenment and promiscuousness. He sells his office; though I mean he lives from the wealth of his wife. Starts a wine business, but then he leaves the wine business to the wife and he's beginning to travel in Europe and in England. Then when he returns, he settles in Paris, leaves the wife back to run the wine business, and he's beginning to write. He writes, publishes in 1721 already the Persian Letters--I talked about this before--and then he was elected on the basis of this to Acadmie Franaise, the French Academy of Sciences and Art--a very big accomplishment at this very early age. And finally, 1748, he publishes the major book. This is really a very important book. I hope you did what I asked, you glanced at it. Not an easy read--a bit drier than some of the texts we read, but very important, fundamentally important stuff. Diderot asks him to write something for the Encyclopdie about democracy. But he's bored with the question of democracy--he wrote enough about this--so he writes an article on taste. Okay, and he died in 1755 in Paris. So these are the times, and this is your author, Montesquieu. Now let me move on to the work. Yes, so here we go: The Spirit of the Laws. And here is the First Edition. So what is this book? The first part is law in general and different modes of governance--interesting, not path-breaking. This is not what he will be remembered for, though, I mean, he is opening some very important subject matters. The second one is law and politics, and separation of powers. We will see he builds on Locke and takes Locke in a big way forward--a great improvement in many--to the extent there is improvement. Of course, Locke has some insight which is missing from the Montesquieuian formulation of separation of powers. Then he has this extraordinary section on law and climate. This is one of his big contributions. I will show you the way how he formulated it is extremely nave, almost borders on the ridiculous. But, given the twenty-first century, there are very few people, with the exception of Ibn Khaldun--whom I named already in the introductory lecture--who was so sensitive that society lives in this globe, and how society is formed and structured, and how its laws are being shaped is actually greatly influenced by the nature of environmental and climactic conditions. So he is the first ecologist he is the first environmentalist who understand the interaction between social organizations--mores, ethics, ideas--and society.

And then there is a bit on law and commerce. I will very briefly talk about this, law and religion, and I will skip this section all together; and law and history I'll also skip. So what are the main themes? First, you know, will be about classification of governments. Then I will talk about separation of powers, and then environment. Law and social structure, right--these are the issues we will be rushing through. There's a lot of stuff to look at. Well before Montesquieu, the question when they classified government was who rules, who is the sovereign? Montesquieu changes somewhat the discourse. He is interested in the manner of governments, how people who are in authority rule; the real basic distinction, whether a government is moderate or whether it is despotic. Well, what are the questions when you try to judge the nature of a government? One important question he said you should ask: Are the various powers separated or not? Irrespective who rules--whether it can be a king, it can be an elected president, it can be a prime minister--the question is: Are the powers separated? And the next question is--this is very important--why do people obey? The question why people obey orders is touched upon by Hobbes and Locke, but it's not really elaborated. This is the issue what they will call the question of legitimacy. Right? What are the principles of why they obey orders? And we will see much later in this course that it will be Max Weber who elaborates on this issue at great lengths. And then the next question is okay, is the ruler an individual or is this an institution? You see, this is all very interesting enrichment of the idea what the nature of governments are. He himself supports a constitutional monarchy. He supports a monarchy in which there is a king or queen, but a king and queen which operates on the rule of law; that's what constitutional monarchy is. The second major theme is separation of powers. I'm still elaborating what will come. Well you have read Locke distinguished between legislative, executive and federative branches of government. Montesquieu distinguishes between legislative, executive and juridical. Well this is the one which has been so influential on the American Constitution--what we all believe now in this country--that these are the three branches which should be separated; though, of course, the federative remains to be an interesting issue. Who should exercise federative powers, the powers of war? Should it be, the legislature, or should it be at the executive branch, as such? Well Montesquieu suggests that the three powers will have to be separated. The legislative power--and this is a departure from Hobbes and Locke--should be by elected representatives. And then he makes an important new contribution. He said the right of minorities should be respected. Though he kind of foreshadows something like universal voting, though he is not

quite explicit about this, but you can read into it. But then he said the minority's rights should be reserved [correction: preserved]. And he said, well the legislative power cannot and should not be held by the monarchs, but it has to be limited; there must be a limitation on legislative powers. And the executive will exercise checks over the legislature--and we will again talk about this in more detail--but there must be some checks and balances over the executive branch as well. Well it comes, you know, who controls what? He puts more emphasis on the executive limiting the legislatives than the other way around. But we will see what the arguments are and what the rationale for this is, and how this affects, for instance, the functioning of the U.S. government today. I think it is not all that far away for the blueprint Montesquieu established way back in the mid-eighteenth century. And then the last issue will be environment--how social conditions are shaped by environmental conditions. But he said, but there is also a general spirit, a spirit which is above the individuals. And this is a very French theme, right? You cannot explain it from the individual; there is some general idea. Durkheim will call it collective conscience; Rousseau will call it the general will. Right? The very French idea that there is some consciousness above the individual consciousnesses--this was formulated so powerfully the first time by Montesquieu. And he actually said as civilization is progressing, the influence of the natural conditions declines, and the importance of general spirits increases. Or to put it with Durkheim, the collective conscience becomes more and more important. I'll just foreshadow, that you have a sense that this course really hangs together. Right? We are not talking about separate authors; we are talking about a set of authors who are talking to each other, debating each other. Right? That's, I think, what is so fascinating about the foundations of modern social thought. That cannot be said about twenty or twenty-first century social theorizing, where we are at each other's throats and we ignore each other. Right? That's more typical. Okay, as I said, he's a methodological collectivist. Right? And I just explained this to you a little, right? A methodological individualist who begins--in order to develop a conception of society, you have to start with the individual; the only reality, what you can observe in individual action and individual consciousness. Everything else, what you suggest, is speculative. Right? This is British individualism and empiricism. Right? The French emphasizes there are stuff, like law. This is why the legal system, the law, is so important for Montesquieu. That's why the major book is called The Spirit of Law because the law is not simply a sum total of individual consciousness. It stands over us, and we get into a society and the law, the legal system already does exist. We will see Durkheim does the same thing; this is why the legal system is so important for him.

Okay, now let's move into the first theme and talk about the different forms of government. Well he makes a distinction between republican government, monarchy, and despotic state. Republican government, in his definition, means that either the people rule--democracy, or a subset of people. Right? Aristocracy has the sovereign power--are the source of law. As we will see, he is not all that certain whether the people rule is all that good. Right? He prefers sort of selected aristocracy. It will be even true for Rousseau; he's much more radical than he is. Monarchy, in which one alone governs, but by fundamental laws. The monarchy itself is bound by laws. A despotic state, there are no fundamental rules. Right? A despot exercises its power at its will. Adolph Hitler's Germany, or Stalin's Russia or Soviet Union, are despotic states where there is no proper rule of law. Now about the republic. Well, as we said, there are two forms of it: the democratic and then the aristocratic one. In the democratic, you have a selection of people to office by lot. Well he's not talking about elections, but by lot. And indeed, in Greek democracies, people were occasionally selected to major offices in Ancient Greece by lot, by a lottery. In aristocracy, people are selected by choice. Right? The best people get into the office where they have the best skills to perform. Well he said, well everyone can vote, but not everybody's prepared to serve in the office. That speaks for aristocracy by choice. But whatever the republic is, there is a principle: legitimacy is based on virtue. The person who serves should be virtuous. Right? And if the virtuousness of the person is questioned then, you know, the legitimacy of the person is in some trouble; verbally, the virtuousness. Remember Bill Clinton? He ran into some trouble, you know, because people started to question his virtuousness in the very narrow sense of the term. Okay, anyway that's the guiding principle. Then monarchy. Well here the prince has a sovereign power--is the source of law. But once the law is established, the prince has to follow that law. That's monarchy. And the principle here is honor. The prince has to be honorable, in order to be obeyed. Again, the basis of legitimacy is honor. And despotism, as we have seen, the one who governs can do whatever it wants to do, is above the law. Right? And what is the principle of despotic rule? Fear, right? You obey those in power because you fear them. Well the next theme is separation of power. And we see the three powers. Well there are the legislative power, executive power, and we will see, the power to judge later on-- executive power over things, depending on the right of nations; executive power over things, depending on civil rights. He said the first power, legislative power, in fact, can be exercised by a king or a magistrate; it can be exercised by even an elected body. But the second one, executive

power, well it has to be executed, he believed, usually by a monarch. And there is the last power, the power of judging, which has to be separated from both the legislative and executive power. Let's see the argument, what he puts forward. He said when the legislative power is united with the executive power in a single person, there is no liberty because one can fear that the same monarch who makes tyrannical rules will execute them in a tyrannical manner. So therefore you have to separate legislative and executive powers. Well this separation is not complete, because it takes time for the legislative body to pass laws, and therefore very often executives, even in the United States, operate with executive orders. Right? These executive orders kind of substitute for laws or legal regulations. So the separation, even in a modern society like a United States, is relative. And, in fact, many constitutional lawyers in the United States were concerned during the last two administrations that the executive branch too often operated by executive orders, rather than to ask the legislature to legislate about those things. Okay. Now then he goes on and he said, look, this is not really a question of republic versus monarchy. He said, look--in his times--in most kingdoms of Europe the government is quite moderate. He said, well the prince who exercises the first two powers, well leaves a great deal of autonomy for its subjects. In the Italian republics--they are republics of his time, eighteenth century--the powers are united and there is less liberty actually in these Italian republics. Well it's an interesting point. Now about the legislative power. He said, well it's better to be an elected body which exercises the legislative power, passes the laws, and--we come close to the idea of universal suffrage--in choosing the representative, all citizens should have the right to vote--and then comes the qualification--except whose estate is so humble that they are deemed to have no will of their own. In order to have a will you better be a property owner. Right? There is a suggestion here of property qualification which was quite dominant in the United States until the twentieth century. Right? But, on the other hand, he elaborates on it, people should not enter government, except to choose their representatives because in order to be in the executive, you need skills. Well you may know who could be the right person to run the office, but you may not be able to run the office. Right? That's the fundamental idea. Well it's also important that this representative body, the legislature, should be separated from actual action. Now comes the idea, the right of minority. This is a novel idea, cast in a very conservative way. But though it is cast in a conservative, kind of feudal aristocratic manner--an aristocrat is

speaking--he's formulating a very important principle that we are still struggling with: how to defend the rights of minorities against a despotism of the majority? Just because 51% voted one way does not mean that 49% is wrong. Right? And the rights of that 49%, or even just 1%, in some ways has to be guaranteed, and that's what he's struggling with. Now here in this context--and we'll put the citation on the Web; so I don't want to read this very long citation-the argument is for the nobility. He said, well the nobility has more rights and therefore if they have more rights, more stakes in it, they have more than one voice. Therefore the solution is a two chamber solution: a chamber for the aristocrats, an upper house, and a chamber popularly elected by everyone, a lower house--well not in the aristocratic sense, but in some ways representing the defense of small states, and agrarian states. This is why the Unites States Senate, every state sends two senators rather--irrespective of the size of the population. Right? And therefore, though not in a sort of feudalistic way, as Montesquieu meant it, but it is- the whole proposition is very much alive in our current political practices. Okay, let me then move on and talk about the executive power. Well the executive power should be stable--that's why he believes it better be in the hands of a monarch--because the government needs immediate action. It cannot leave to a messy congress to debate things all the time. The government has to act instantly, and therefore it has to be in one hand. Well he elaborates a number of limits of legislative power. Some of it applies to the United States; others don't, but may apply to Western democracies. It should convene at regular intervals, and that's quite true for all democratic states, the legislature is called very often and with some regularity. Well it should not be in session without interruption. The U.S. Congress is virtually in session almost without interruption. But other parliaments in Continental Europe are not necessarily so. The reason is that they don't want to make membership in the legislature the sole source of occupation and income--and there are things which speaks for this idea, that the legislature is not in permanent session. And then he said it should not have the right to convene itself. Well the U.S. Congress convenes itself, it doesn't need the call of the executive. But in England, for instance, it is the queen who dissolves the parliament and calls the session of the parliament. Doesn't give her much power, but nevertheless the idea, the Montesquieuian idea, is present in a number of Western democracies. Now regular intervals; that's obvious, right? It should not be left to the executive, especially the executive has the right to call into session the legislature. Right? That may mean the executive will not call when new laws are needed and will become despotic. That's why it has to be called by regular intervals. Now and it should not be in session without interruption because he said it

would overburden the executive power as well. And it cannot convene itself, he said--and the arguments are known--because if it would have the right to decide whether it dissolves itself, it will never dissolve itself; that's the fundamental argument here. As I said, in many countries this is exercised his way. Now the executive, he said, should be able to check over the legislature. And in what way? Because it doesn't want the legislature to paralyze the action of the government. And the main way how the executive exercises checks over the legislature is the veto right of the executive; exactly like it is done in the U.S. Constitution, right? The President can veto laws which are passed by Congress, has to send back to Congress, and the Congress has to overrule the veto of the President. There is a clear check of the executive over the legislature. Right? The executive has the possibility to remind the legislature, this may be a bad idea to pass this law; you better rethink it before it becomes a law. Well checks and balances over the executive branch. He is quite a conservative here. He said the executive power belongs to the legislative, only through its faculty of vetoing. The executive power--it's very important-enacts the rising of public funds only with the consent of legislature. This is again a very important principle ruling all democracies--that the budgets have to be approved by the legislature. Just see the mess what we have seen in California recently, where the legislature was not giving the budget to the governor. But this is certainly a very important principle of democracy. And now let me come to the question of environment and society, and the whole idea that the physical conditions shape social conditions. And let me give you a couple of, as I said, quite silly notes. He said that "spirit and passion are extremely different in various climates, laws should be relative to the differences in these passions." And now comes the real silly one. "In cold climate, the blood is pushed harder forward the heart. This produces confidence in oneself, and courage, and better knowledge." So you are more courageous, more active and smarter if you live in cold climates, like in France or in England. People in hot countries are "timid, like old men." I'm not all that timid. Okay. And then interestingly, you know, to sort of distance himself from racism--and that's a term which did not exist in his time--he said even the children of Europeans born inside the Indies lose the courage of the European climate. Well, at least it is not based on a racial argument, but indeed based on an extremely nave ecological argument. But let me emphasize, there is fantastic insight here, right? For another 200, nobody took the environment seriously; I mean, with the exception of mile Durkheim.

We will talk about this when we talk about Durkheim, coming from Montesquieu. For Durkheim, Montesquieu and Rousseau were the gods. Right? That's where modern theory of society came from. It was Montesquieu and Rousseau, both of them. So, and now about the "general spirit." He said, well many things govern man: climate, religion, laws, the maxims of government, mores and manners--there is this all adds together, a general spirit, which is formed as a result. Right? I hope you get the idea of the general spirit that there is a set of ideas which is above our individual consciousness. In childhood we learn, we internalize those ideas. It is not coming from the individual; it is entering the individual in the process of education. Right? And therefore, the argument what Montesquieu makes, repeated by Rousseau and Durkheim, that we can have, and should have, an idea of society or collective consciousness extending over and above the individual. This is a big debate which informs most of the debates in social sciences today. In economics, in political science, in sociology, in anthropology, you have some scholars who regard themselves--in an economics few--methodological collectivists and those who call themselves methodological individualists; rational choice people are the methodological individualists. The cultural analysts are methodological collectivists, right? We have that distinction virtually everywhere; as I said, the least in economics. But even in economics you have the institutionalists who are on the edge of between being methodological collectivists or being methodological individualists. And then well he says as civilization unfolds, the importance of the general spirit is increasing and the impact of climate is declining. Not that climate doesn't matter, but over time its importance declines and the importance of general experience increases. Well that's about it for today. Thank you.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 5 Transcript September 17, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: So today is Jean Jacques Rousseau--I mean, one of the most fascinating people in terms of his life and his ideas and the way how he reasons. He is a provocative, a provocateur, and an extraordinary genius, in more than one way. There are few people whom I disagree so strongly than in many propositions of Jean Jacques Rousseau. But there are few people who turn my mind on so much than Jean Jacques.

So who was this character? Let me just give you a very brief overview. He was born in Geneva, which was a city-state at that time--ruled by Calvin for awhile, a Calvinist stronghold. We will talk about this when it comes to Max Weber and The Protestant Ethic. Calvin ruled Geneva with an iron hand. That's where he was born. His father was Isaac Rousseau. He was a watchmaker and a Calvinist. Well he did run into some trouble. I don't know exactly what the trouble was. I think he was in debt, so he jumped the boat and went to Istanbul, disappeared; we don't know much about him beyond that. So at a very early age of ten he was a kind of orphan. Then in 1728 he moved to France. And there was a wonderful lady, about ten years his senior, Mrs. Warens, who was running a home. Anyway, so he met Mrs. Warens, who was a Roman Catholic, and her mission was to convert these Calvinists to their proper faith, Roman Catholicism-- and took young boys into her home. But who knows, it looks like she had more interests in people, rather than religion. So he arrived '28 to Annency. Right? Age of 16, a good-looking, nice guy. Madame Warens is still a younger lady. Here you can see, you know, Madame Warens and Jean Jacques, meeting in 1728. Very romantic stuff, right? Well and here well another picture. You know? Well I don't blame Jean Jacques, at the age of 16, to convert to Roman Catholicism from the cold Calvinist religion, and meanwhile being a bit romantic. Right? Well Jean Jacques is one of those few people who wrote a Confession--a very funny book. He has a sense of self-irony and self-criticism. Whether this is genuine, or he thought this will be the way how to sell the book--hard to tell. But it's worth reading. It actually was published posthumously. And he said Madame de Warens shaped his character; undoubtedly she did. And this affair--affair, who knows, but it looks like it was an affair--fascinated people later on. I think I already cracked this joke in the introductory lecture. A wonderful French writer, Stendhal, in his superb novel, Le Rouge et la Noir, was inspired by this interesting affair--a sixteen -year -old boy and a twenty-eight-year-old woman. And, in fact, the story of Julien Sorel--it means Jean Jacques Rousseau--and Madame de Renal--de Warens--is really the core of the story. So if you have not read Le Rouge et la Noir, this is a must for an Ivy League graduate. You don't want to get a degree from Yale not having read Stendhal, Le Rouge et la Noir. It's, of course, in English. But, you know, enough is enough. In '42, several years later, Rousseau has now bigger aims and he moves to Paris. And he becomes the secretary of Comte de Montaigue who is a French ambassador to Venice. And there are a lot of nice things--interesting things--about Rousseau, but he was not an easy guy, and somehow he always ran into trouble. So he ran into trouble in

Venice, and in order to avoid arrest and trouble--I don't know exactly what he did, probably something financially not quite correct--he had to jump and leave Venice and Comte de Montaigue. He moves to Paris, and he knows how to find good friends. He also will know how to make great enemies from his good friends. So he meets Diderot. And we already know Diderot, and we know alreadyEncyclopdie and the French Enlightenment. And he was asked to write an article on music for the Encyclopdie. And this is Diderot. Okay, and then he meets Thrse Lavasseur. He was staying in a hotel, and Thrse Lavasseur was a maid in this hotel, and a long-lasting relationship develops between the two which--well I already told you, don't worry if you don't marry instantly. He was not married instantly either. It took him some time to decide that this date should actually culminate in a legal marriage. She became a companion for all of his life. Well I would not bet my life that she was, for the rest of life, the only woman in his life, but certainly she was his companion. I don't know about her. They married in '68. So you can see it took some time for Rousseau to say, "Well this is something which should end up in a marriage." And here is--okay, here you can see that, right?--Thrse and Jean Jacques. Well I hope you don't mind I show you these pictures; they don't tell all that much. Well Jean Jacques, as I said, was an extraordinary genius. He is not only a philosopher, not only a social scientist, not only a scientist--he was writing on science as well--he was an artist. And well, you know, anybody can write a novel, right? I am sure half of this class considered at one point in your life that you will write poetry or you will write a novel. Right? It's easy; you sit down and you write a novel. My life is a novel, right? Most people say that. But Jean Jacques wrote an opera. Probably few of you considered to write an opera. Right? That needs skills. Right? And he did one, Le Devin du Village. I own a CD. It's a wonderful opera. He's a great composer. Right? Well that's quite unusual. And, to make it even more interesting, he was in an intense debate--he was always in an intense debate with everybody-but he was in an intense debate with Rameau. And those of you who are a little familiar with music, you know Rameau. Rameau was the greatest French composer of the eighteenth century, and they had a big debate because Rousseau believed in the Italian opera. Right? He believed that the melody should have precedence over harmony, and Rameau wanted to create a French opera in which, you know, melody is not so important, and in fact the harmony is more important. It was a revolutionary break. Rameau paves, you know--creates a new space for the new music. In some ways he's beginning to pave the way, what we eventually will know as modern music--an extraordinary composer. Well and Rousseau

believed in bel canto, Pavarotti. I know, of course there was no Pavarotti at that time. But you know what bel canto is--Ave Maria. Right? You create a cry, you can sing it. Right? That's what he really believed in, unlike Rameau who was much more analytical and emphasized harmony. Interestingly, the person whom I think is the greatest composer of all history, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, loved Rousseau, and he wrote an opera what can be very rarely seen-occasionally you can catch it in the Metropolitan Opera of Arts, once in a decade--Bastien und Bastienne, which was actually inspired by Le Devin du Village. Go on amazon.com, you can buy Rameau, you can buy Bastien und Bastienne, and you can buy Le Devin du Village, and you can see the differences. And he, of course, publishes a novel, Julie, or La Nouvelle Hloise, which at that time was an influential novel. I don't think too many people read it today. Well this is Rameau, and Rameau shadowed [correction: foreshadowed] modern music. Gluck, in particular, follows from Rameau. In fact, you know, Mozart will be changing in his lifetime. We will talk--well I thought--if there is a musician you can read a little Rameau here. Interestingly, you know, Mozart did not stick quite to the Italian opera over his life. You've probably heard Zauberflte; The Magic Flute, is the first German opera. The earlier Mozart is very much Italian opera. Later in life, Mozart tried to create German opera, which has some similarities with the French music--not quite, because it's more romantic. Okay, he is also a philosopher, scientist, political theorist--I also would say sociologist and political scientist. The first piece of work is actually science, art, and study of society. Then in 1755, he writes a very interesting book--if you have spare time, read it--Discourse on the Origins of Inequality--Again, a very provocative book. In some ways there is some sort of Hobbesian idea behind that. He said, well it starts with love, but if you are really in love, well you tend to be jealous. Right? If you are deeply in love, passionately in love, then you don't like that the person who is the object of your love may have a love in somebody else; then you are jealous. And the idea is--this is the origins of inequality; we are jealous, right? There is one precious good--to put it with Hobbes--we all desire, and if somebody else desires it as well, and has a shot at it, to get it, then we become jealous, right? We want to grab it, we want to monopolize it. So this is a source of inequality, right? Well an interesting idea, right? Have you ever experienced that? Did you have occasionally a little sense of jealousy in you, and thinking no, this other one should not have the one I do have? I think you probably did. I did. Okay.

And then comes the big year: '62. He publishes two major books in one year, two big scandals: Social Contract and mile. And I will talk to Social Contract today,

and mile. Social Contract is really a culmination of the contractarian argument. Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau did some extraordinary important new innovations. Right? As we have seen, in the first contractarian, Hobbes had a somewhat limited idea of social contract; probably realistic but not what you necessarily like. He said a social contract is not something what you concluded with the authority, right? Social contract, what you entered by fear, and social contract which was done previously because you wanted to have a new contract is binding on you. Right? Locke tended to see a social contract as sort of between the individual and the commonwealth. This is a nice idea, that you are bound by a contract you signed. But, you know, those of you at least who were born in these United States, never signed a contract to accept the Constitution. I am a naturalized citizen. You can say I signed a contract. Right? I had to swear allegiance to the United States. At that time I was supposed to read the Constitution. I have not read it from cover to cover. But anyway, I signed a contract somewhat unseen--you know?--suspecting what the contract is I'm signing. But most of you, born in the States, never signed a contract. Right? It's still binding on you. Right? Unless you decide to abandon the U.S. citizenship and become a citizen of North Korea. Right? Then you are bound by this social contract. So that is, you know, the difference between Hobbes and Locke, as we discussed. Now Rousseau, as we will see, adds a new, interesting element. He said, well, it's not quite the individuals, and he introduces the notion of general will. There is a general will which is well above the individuals--extremely important idea, has a degree of insights and realism. It's also a very dangerous idea. Totalitarian regimes very often advocate it. General will that you-and I will quote Jean Jacques for you when he said, "the individuals will have to be forced to be free"; that follows from the idea of general will. Well he's a complex thinker-- liberal on one hand, a contractarian on the other hand, and paves the road to totalitarianism. He was loved by many liberals, and he was loved by many totalitarians--like Karl Marx loved him, like Vladimir Ilyich Lenin loved him, because of the general will. But Durkheim loved him too, and he was a liberal. So there he is. mile--I will talk about this. I already mentioned, any one of you, and there are probably a few people who will end up in education, you have to read this book cover to cover. This is no modern major education theory without the book mile. This is the foundation of modern educational theory.

Okay, he had a big impact: a big impact on the American Constitution, and the French Revolution. He's one of the path-breakers on the French Revolution. He was also the first who advocated popular sovereignty, the abolishment of the Third Estate, and creating one popularly elected body. Right? Strong conflict with Montesquieu who wanted to have two chambers, one for the aristocracy and one for the people; Rousseau wanted to have one. Universal suffrage, except for women; well he was a male chauvinist pig in one way. Well, and as we will see, the idea of general will were picked up by the radicals of the French Revolution, the Jacobins, and was picked up by later Communists of various types, be it Leninists or Maoists. Well the general will and French radicalism led to bloodshed. Robespierre, the major disciple and believer of general will, his head was also chopped off. Well, so much about it. Now Rousseau did not live the French Revolution; his ideas did, and informed it. He had to move in '62 in exile because both books created an outrage, particularly by the church. First he went back to Geneva, but figured out he doesn't like Geneva any longer. So David Hume, the conservative philosopher who admired his work, invited him to come to England. And like with everybody else who was his friend, he had a fall-out with David Hume. He was really a difficult guy, right? This is David Hume. And therefore he left England and he returned to France--lived for a long time under an assumed name to make sure he doesn't get into trouble. Finally, '68, he married Thrse. I will talk about this, mile. They had several children, and the greatest educational theorist who tells you how to raise children, he put all of his children in an orphanage. He was a real bastard, to put it another way. And then he was writing his Confessions, which was published posthumously, and he died in '78, July 2nd. So this is the author we will be discussing today, and we will also be also discussing Tuesday. And I hope I will have enough time between I get home and before the limo comes, so I can put this on the internet, so you can read this on the internet. This is, if right, the Social Contract. Yes. Social Contract, 1782 [correction: 1762] . And I don't know why, but I like to show you the first editions-- doesn't take me too much time to find it on the internet, but occasionally it does. Okay, so what the Social Contract is all about? Book I is a description how you move from natural right--from the state of nature--to political right. The second book is the sovereign and how the sovereign should be constructed, created. This is an issue which Locke did not pay much attention to. Right? We will see, you know, Rousseau himself likes elected, selected aristocracy, but he's beginning to think about universal suffrage and a proper constitution of the sovereign. Then he has a big section on

government, a section on ancient Rome and civil religion. I will talk--well I don't have much time--I will try to talk about civil religion as well. So what are the major themes? One question is what is legitimate rule? And he said rule is only legitimate when it is arrived at consent. But, he said, justice has to be diluted because general will has to prevail. I will have to talk a little about justice being diluted. The problem is there is no universal justice--what you can arrive at from the individual will. There is a general will, and a conception of the common good, and the individual-- whether the individual is done justice to,--it has to be diluted, it has to be restricted by the demands of the collective will, of the collective good. Now this is a provocative statement. It certainly has a kernel of truth. It's also a very dangerous argument because it opens up the rule for a totalitarian state, which will tell you, "Oh, you think this is your interest? What you think is your interest is not really your interest. Me, the sovereign, knows what is in your interest, and I will force you to be free. I will force you to understand what is in your interest." That is a bit of a tricky argument which has been abused in history. That's what the notion diluted refers to. Now he advocates for popular sovereignty and the need for convention. Well the argument is the individual express only individual interests, and therefore the general will is not the will of--not simply the sum total of individual wills. He is a methodological collectivist, as I already pointed out. And then it comes to the lawgiver. Well it is the lawgiver who actually can inspire what he calls amour-propre. You need a lawgiver--he sees himself as a lawgiver-who actually will be able to tell you why your selfishness is no good--why the love of your country and the community is the right thing to go. Okay. And a good government means a popularly elected legislature. And the executive is still by an aristocracy, by the wise man--that's what he really means by aristocracy, an intellectual aristocracy who is elected. Well we have somewhat this notion, that people in government should be smart, right? And we have a bit of concern with--you know, in the past there were some presidents in the United States, some people in the United States thought they are not all that smart. Right? I don't want to name names, but you can think probably of some--why some people thought they are a little on the dumb side. And they did not earn very much respect by those who think they are not smart. Anyway, that's it. So legitimate rule. Well legitimate rule cannot be based on natural title, not aristocracy. It has to be authorized by consent. Well I'll leave the family issue, that's--family, he said, is the only natural society. But he said even the family does not come simply from nature. There is a social contract in the family, and in fact when you grow up--when you are not a small child

anymore--then you will realize how much of a contract it is. Eventually--I hope there is nobody in this room, but I suspect there are probably a very few who at one point thought enough was enough; you know, my mother and father is really a pain, and therefore I don't want to do much with them--will break the contract, right? It does happen to some people in their life. As a father, I hope it would never happen, but unfortunately it occasionally does. When people are teenagers, that's when you're beginning to think about the natural right of the family as a contract, and you're beginning to enter--or some people begin to enter--some kind of a new relationship in the parents and try to convert the natural dependence on parents on a contractual relationship saying, "Well how come? What do you mean I have to be back home by eleven p.m.?" Right? You remember that? Anybody ever questioned that? Right? Tried to negotiate it out. "Oh not eleven." You want it to be one a.m. Right? "I am already sixteen or seventeen." You know? That's when you are converting natural right. Okay, now there is a transition from state of nature to the nature of civil society. Right? Well there is the transition from the state of nature to civil society is necessary--this is a remarkable change, right?--where you substitute justice for instinct of contact--with morality which was lacking previously in the state of nature. And in civil society, you know, we deprive ourselves from some of the advantages, what we enjoyed in the state of nature. Nevertheless, this is a great progress, what has to be taken on. We will see this also in mile. Well, the second theme is about the question of diluted justice. And he said, you know, the order to admit justice among us has to be diluted. And diluted means, you know, our individual sense of justice has to be overruled by the general will. And a sovereign needs no guarantor, and the individuals will have to be constrained; otherwise we are in trouble. And here is the argument why the individual will have to be constrained. Individuals cannot just follow their self-interests, because the general will have to prevail. The common good has to overrule the selfish individual interests--a very different type of argument from the British liberals. Then he argues for popular sovereignty, and he prefers to do so. And this is his single most important contribution. This has to be based on a convention, and a convention has to be arrived at by the rule of the majority. There must be an assembly of people and--this is also a very radical, controversial argument-that they must pool the resources. It is almost a Communist idea of having common property of major resources--a very problematic argument. And he also makes this interesting claim that in the state of nature we are not equal--that's a very different view from Hobbes--but we are being made equal by convention, what we do with each other. And the problem is this is

really--does it lead to totalitarianism? He's also advocating for public possessions as a superior form of possession--state possession over resources. A very problematic argument-again paves the foundation towards Marxism and Communist ideologies. And well many of the--you know, all the citations will be on the internet. So you can read it much more carefully than you can do it now. Well then we arrive at the idea of the general will. Individual--if this is something, you believe in Adam Smith or you believe in Locke, you will be very disturbed--individuals express only private interest. So there must be a public interest. And the general will is sort of--it's unclear where it is coming from, but it is certainly coming over and above the individuals. And this is the general will, which is represented in what we call the commonwealth. The federal authority, the federal interest expresses the general will. It is not the will of all. It is the will which serves the interests of everybody, rather than the view of everybody. Well, as I said, you know, there is an element of truth to it. In discussion sections we can talk about this. The class will be divided whether this is acceptable or not. But those of you who believe in methodological collectivism will have to take very seriously the idea of general will. And now comes the question of the lawgivers, and this is a very important argument. Well we are only free when we obey the law. Right? That freedom is under self-imposed law. Hegel said that freedom is--you are free when you recognize necessity, and therefore you will have to go by the law. And this will inspire amour-propre, the love of the country, rather than amour de soi, which is self-love. He makes this distinction where--I'm afraid I will have to come back to this Tuesday; I will have to leave it now--the distinction between amourpropre and amour de soi is a very important distinction, and I'll have to elaborate on this Tuesday. So I will come back to Social Contract, before we go on to mile.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 6 Transcript September 22, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Then let's go on to Jean Jacques Rousseau and mile. And interact with me today; I need your help. I came back from Helsinki, Finland yesterday. I was sixteen hours on the road. I went to bed at 1:00 a.m. So I need your help. I want you to interact with me. And mile is a good opportunity to interact and get excited because it's a very important

text. As I pointed out, there is no educational theory without Rousseau's mile. Everybody who does education has to read mile from cover to cover. Most of them will disagree with most of his ideas, but will be provoked by his ideas. He is intentionally provocative, says things which do upset you, but makes you think; and don't dismiss it too easy. Now before I go into mile, there is one more issue I would like to come back--about Rousseau's Social Contract. I made this point briefly in the last lecture, but let me make it sharper because in the questions I am asking--questions about the general will--and I feel I may not have given enough meat to you about the notion of the general will. Yeah, before I go--so I have to come back because there is one more chore, household chore. One of the teaching fellows reminded me that the Smith's Lecture will come at the day when the test is due. So what to do with this? What I suggest: I will do a preview of Smith Thursday, this week, and I will put my PowerPoints before the lecture on the internet so you can read the PowerPoints. Okay? That will get you up in speed. I hope you still will come to the lecture. Though those of you who are also in the Varieties of Capitalism course can skip because, out of the 50 lectures I'm giving this semester, this is the only one which overlaps. It is the same lecture what I was giving in the Varieties of Capitalism course. I hope you won't ask for a discount--that the professor did sell the same product twice. But anyway, so those who did that lecture and they feel very comfortable with Smith can miss the lecture. But I hope everybody else will come Tuesday. All right, now mile. This is something--no, no, the general will, the general will. I didn't finish this one. So there is an interesting contrast--development--in Rousseau in The Theory of Social Contract. Because Rousseau especially emphasizes that the social contract has to be arrived at by a universal consent. So he does emphasize that in arriving to a social contract we actually have to exercise some popular sovereignty. And this is an idea which is only an element in Locke. Right? In some ways Rousseau moves a big step forward--contractarian theory, towards democratic theory, popular sovereignty, and, in fact, universal suffrage. I mentioned he did not advocate suffrage for women but advocated otherwise universal suffrage--what Locke was not willing to do. But there is an interesting other idea in Rousseau which has an important kernel of truth, and a very disturbing idea at the same time, and this is the idea of the general will. I talked about this as a good example of methodological collectivism; that Rousseau, unlike Hobbes or Locke, or we will see later on Mill or Adam Smith, does not believe that studying the individual actions we can understand what is society and what the need of the society is. There is a general will over society which is more than simply adding up all individual wills.

And this idea carried on in social theory among those whom we will discuss, particularly by mile Durkheim. And there is clearly an element of truth to it--that there is some universal good, what is more than just the sum total of individual interest. When we are talking about healthcare reform and the needs of governments to provide healthcare for everybody, when we actually do believe that it should not be left to individual responsibility whether they have healthcare insurance. Or at least some people in this room probably believe that. Then you believe that there is a general will--that you have to overrule the individual to make a decision. And there is this general will everywhere. When you go to the college, you have to get certain shots otherwise you are not allowed into the college. It is not leaving up to you to decide whether you have certain shots taken. You have to demonstrate, to be in residence. There is a general will. It's not assumed that every individual is a rational actor and people will not be foolish and be irresponsible and not to be properly protected. You see? This is a strong case that the idea of general will makes sense. There is some collective good. But we can understand that individuals occasionally have to be forced to go by this general will, by the public good. But there is a big problem with the general will; namely, if there is a general will as such, where on earth will it come from? How we will know what the general will is? And Rousseau is explicit about this. He confronts it. That's why he talks about the lawgiver. He said, "Smart people like me, we know what is good for society and therefore we should figure out what the general will is, and then the popularly elected parliament will pass it as a law. But we are the lawgivers." Right? Well this is a very disturbing idea--a disturbing idea which opens Rousseau up to a totalitarian interpretation--that he argues that the government knows better. And, in fact, he argues that not the government but we, the wise philosophers--we, the intellectuals--we know better what people's interests are. "You think this is your interest? No, I tell you, this is not your interest. I know what is your interest." Well, this is a very disturbing idea. How on earth do I know what is in your interest? And, of course, Rousseau's notion of general will appealed a great deal to Karl Marx and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Mao Tse-tung. They loved the idea that it is the Central Committee of the Communist Party who knows better than ordinary Chinese or Russian what their needs are. There must be a central planner rather than an individual actor which tells people what their needs are. So the problem of general will is highly problematic. Right? You can make a case for it, that you need an assumption like that. As I pointed out, there are people in this room who believe that there is general will and the common good. Right? Are there people here? Anybody believes that? Okay, yeah, yeah, there are people in this room--of course. And there are others

who would not believe that. If you are an econ major, I think you got enough in economics to say, "No, no, no, no, never, ever." Okay, now let's go to mile because it actually has something to do, in a different formulation, with the same idea. So what is the story about mile? It's, of course--he himself is Jean Jacques, and he tells us that he's a tutor of a boy, mile, and educates him from the early ages until reaches adulthood and finds his wife, Sophie. I told you, of course, that this is a very idealized Rousseau, because he put all of his children into an orphanage--into a very lousy orphanage--and probably most of them, or all of them, very early died in this orphanage. But he still has ideas--what he should have done if he would not have been a bastard and would not have abandoned his children. So what is the Table of Contents? First he says, "Well we have to rear a civilized savage, a child born in the state of nature; infancy and childhood and pre-adolescence is a gradual transformation from the state of nature into society. Then when adolescence comes, then we have a fully formed atomic individual by now, and we have to bring that person into society." And then he has this very complicated idea that this transition from the atomic individual and state of nature to civil society is a transition from amour de soi to amour propre. Well this is a very complex concept. Rousseau could have been more lucid about what the difference is than he was. Also, from English you think you understand it more easily than you actually do, becausepropre in French does not mean proper. Propre also means myself; propre only means myself in consideration with others. Soi means myself without consideration of others. Right? So be careful. Amour-propre is not proper love. Right? It is a self-love, but of a self-love in which I do take into consideration alter, not only ego, to put it with Sigmund Freud. Well and it has to happen, otherwise we will not have citizens. He links this idea of amour propre--I will have to talk about this more--in order to have citizens. And he makes a crucial distinction between the citizens and the bourgeois. This is again the two faces of Rousseau. One face of Rousseau is a radical democrat, a deeply democratic individual, and the other face is a left radical. And he's the first really, as far as I can tell--but I reasonably know the literature of these times--the first who is using the term bourgeois in a pejorative way, and makes this crucial distinction between citizen and bourgeois. And bourgeois are the selfish businessmen who want to have money and do not have a commitment to the collectivity--who do not obey the general will but pursue selfish, narrow, economic interest. That's bourgeois. In some ways he gives the tool to Karl Marx, to develop his theory, as we will see later on.

And Marx, of course, loved Rousseau; not only Marx, Durkheim loved Rousseau as well. There are many people who loved this character, despite his shortcomings of his character. Well what are the main themes? The first important theme is nature is good; society which is corrupt. A very important proposition, a very powerful proposition. This is something what Marx also takes from Rousseau, and this is what Durkheim also takes from Rousseau. "Fear of death is not natural," he continues. "It is forced on us--forced on us by priests, philosophers and doctors. And the first task is negative education." Well I will elaborate on this. I'll just foreshadow this block of ideas. The second one is: well the task is to turn the savages, noble savages--that's the noble savage, a very Rousseauian idea--into social beings, and from amour de soi to amour propre. Well but what makes us social--it's a lovely idea; provocative, ironic, and I just love it--what makes us social is pity. And I will labor on this. It's really so wonderful. And the big question is can we be citizens without being bourgeois? What is the distinction? And then he said, "What is civilization?" Well civilization becomes culture when sex is sublimated into imagination. It's very important. I will labor on it, and I hope you will be able to relate to it as much as I can. Right? He said there are really two processes which makes us social: pity and love. But not sex. It is erotic love, which is in your mind as much as in your sexual drives. And then he suggests love develops in three stages. And I think this is absolutely wonderful. Again, certainly I can relate to this very well. The first stage is that you are in love but you don't know yet with whom. Right? You are ready for love and you are looking for somebody to be loved. But you don't really know yet, you did not identify yet. But there is a sense that you are in love. Well, it happens certainly for the first time in adolescence. When we are thirteen or fourteen, and we suddenly realize that there is romantic stuff but we don't have the object of our romantic feelings, we have to find this out. But it happens actually always when one falls in love. Can I tell you as an old man, it will happen later to life as well. There is rarely one love in life. Right? Okay, then he says love brings different people together on the basis of differences. This is very much a Durkheimian idea of what binds people together can be their differences. And he makes a very provocative argument: men and women are different. He's mostly read as a male chauvinist bastard. But it's more complicated than this, and I will show you text what will make you think, without completely dismissing him, just on some very damaging quotations-what I also will show you.

All right, so nature good, society corrupts. Well people in nature are good; society corrupts. Well this is the opposite argument to Hobbes. Or, in fact, Durkheim's idea that you need more control over society is also opposed to Rousseau's fundamental idea. And he said, well a child does not know vice and doesn't know error. It is introduced to the child by society. And then he gives--though he was not much of a believer--he gives a bit of theological argument: "Everything is good as it leaves the hands of the author of things [God] and everything degenerates in the hands of man." "Man turns everything upside down. He wants nothing as nature made it." We are being told to get rid of our natural instincts. And this is again lovely, right? "Man must be trained like a school horse." So it's lovely. Also I think you sense this very important distinction between training and education. Right? Once I had a conversation with Daniel Bell, a famous social scientist, and he said--we were talking about graduate students--and he said, "My colleagues are always talking about training graduate students." He said, "What an outrage. You educate students, you don't train them. You train a dog." Now that's Rousseau's point. Right? Training, simply to giving skills and telling them how to do things is training. The point is education. And I hope we try to do in this course a bit of education. That's why I don't emphasize that you have to go back and memorize the citations from the authors, come in, and in the blue book quickly copy in what you memorized and will immediately forget after the test--what you often are expected to do. That is training. Education is the process in which we force you to think on your own. That is education. And he said well the problem is that there is too much training. Right? Like cutting back the trees; a French garden, they cut back everything what grows to fit what they thought a beautiful image. It is always non-natural. And I also like this a great deal. Many of you will not agree with this. He said, "Fear of death is not natural. In nature one accepts it." And Rousseau agrees with Hobbes we are indeed driven by the fear of death, but this is not natural. He claims that an animal accepts death. Well whether it is true or not, that's another question. You may have seen your dog dying, and you have seen fear in the eyes of a dog. So I'm not so sure how correct Rousseau's observation is. But there is an element of truth to it. Right? That buffaloes when they know it is time to die, they go on their own and they lay down and wait for death in a peaceful way. That's what he suggests. He said. "What is put into us"--and I think it's a wonderful, deep idea--"the fear of death by philosophers, doctors and priests." A great idea. Right? It's a very important idea--that we are ruled by people who monopolize a different type of knowledge, and the essence, the power of knowledge is that it put fear of death into us. The doctors will say, "Well I will cure you." Right? The priest will say, "You will burn in hell." And therefore

you will fear of death. He said naturally we would know how to suffer and how to die, but we are being sort of indoctrinated to fear death and have anxieties in my life. Well this is why we need negative education. This is a very provocative idea that became extremely popular in the 1960s and '70s. Those of you who do education probably know Ivan Illich's work; he's pushing it as far as you can. Right? But in the kind of counter-cultural educational theories it was very important that what you need is negative education. You have to get out of those silly ideas from people's mind what society put in there. And he said--and this is again a lovely citation--"Our didactic and pedantic craze is always to teach children what they would learn much better by themselves and to forget what we alone could teach them." Right? So this is again--education is giving an opportunity for people to use their mind, rather than indoctrinating them. "And therefore," he said, "the first act of education should be purely negative." Right? "It consists not at all in teaching virtue and the truth but in securing the heart from vice and the mind from error." Very important. Right? The task of education, not training, is not to tell you what the truth is. The task of education is to help your brain operate sufficiently to tell what is an error and to figure out when you are making an error. That's why there is no easy solutions. There is no right answer to the question. There are competing answers to every important question. And the task of education is to consider the pros and cons, to consider what speaks for and against the evidence, and then to make a judgment what is the proposition you will accept to try to eliminate error. That's what education is all about. Okay, now another issue is about command. And he said--and again I love it--"There shall be no commands. The words obey and command will be proscribed from the Lexicon. And even more so duty andobligation." Very provocative, but again I think very deep. Think about it very hard. He said what we really should be, in the process of education do, is to emphasize your strengths. We emphasize necessity; we emphasize impotence. We try to figure out what is outside of our reach, what we cannot do. We emphasize constraints, realistic constraints upon our action. Right? That is really what should happen in education. So the argument, this is your duty to do that, is the wrong way to approach. Right? It's not what the educators should do--to appeal to people's guilt feelings, to create guilt in them. We will talk about this more in Nietzsche--where the guilt feelings is coming from. No, don't create guilt. But, on the other hand, tell people what is necessary, what are the limitations of your action. Emphasize what you are capable of doing. Encourage them to get the best out of them, but always warn them that, "I don't see that you can really go that far. Don't push yourself too much because you won't be able to make it." That's what he believes education is.

Now this is turning savages into social beings, moving from amour de soi to amour propre. The love of oneself, amour de soi, is always good. There is nothing wrong about it--what Adam Smith will call self-interest. Well the child is born with amour de soi. Takes the toy away, "It's mine." Right? The other child will say, "No, this is mine." Right? This is amour de soi. I want it. Right? Amour de soi, as we will know from Freud. I want the breast of my mother. I want to monopolize it; this is mine. Right? That's amour de soi. Well but on the other hand we have to extend our relationships; we have to interact with other people. And amour propre will be when we realize there is another people who are also led by amour de soi, and we figure out the way how to live with them, by interacting with them. Well there are--where does sociality then come from; amour propre, where does it come from? And there are--the first maxim is, "It is not the human heart to put ourselves in the place of people who are happier than we, but only of those who are more pitiable." It's ironic, but as far as I can tell this is ad hominem. Right? Think just very honestly about yourself. When you know somebody was more successful with you, you can't--very hard to love that person. Right? If somebody is less successful than you, you feel pity for them. Suddenly your heart warms up. Suddenly you feel responsible. Suddenly you want to help. Right? The second maxim: "One pities in the others only those ills from which one does not feel oneself exempt." So we don't necessarily lead by love when we see misery what is sort of outside of our possible experiences. We have love for pitiable people when we think we can actually end up in the same situation. That's when we will have amour propre. And the third maxim is, well: "The pity one has for another's misfortune is measured not by the quantity of that misfortune but the sentiment one attributes to those who suffer it." Right? So I think that's a wonderful idea. And now about compassion and pity one more time. He said, "We are born twice, once to exist and the second time to live"--for species reproduction, and "the young adult becomes sensitive before knowing what he's sensing... It is now that man, truly born to live" and beginning to experience the others. So it is actually our weakness what makes us social, not our strengths. "It is our common miseries which turns our hearts to humanity." I think really ironic but a very deep idea. You can disagree with it, but you have to think about it. There is clearly an element of truth in the argument. Okay, and I also love the last sentence here. He said, "Pity is sweet." This is one of my favorite sentences in Rousseau. Right? It is so sweet to feel pity for somebody. "Oh, I am so sorry for you." Right? Then your heart is overflowing with love. Right?

Well and then the citizen and the bourgeois. This is again fantastic. "Pedaretus runs for council of 300. He is defeated"--not elected in the 300 representatives in Sparta. He goes home delighted there were 300 men worthier than he to be found in Sparta. "This is the citizen." Are you a citizen when you only got a B- and there are thirty people in class who got an A? Do you feel how fortunate I am that I'm in such a great class that thirty people are better than I am? Right? If you feel that way, then you are a citizen. Right? When you develop amour propre; that is his point. And then another point. "A Spartan woman had five sons in the army and was waiting news of the battle. A Helot arrives, trembling, she asks him for news. 'Your five sons were killed.' And now she answers. 'Base slave, did I ask you that?' 'We won the victory.' The mother runs to the temple and gives thanks to the gods. This is the female citizen." Right? My children died, but we won-- the general will. Well, "He who in a civil order wants to preserve the primacy of the sentiments of nature does not know what he wants. Always in contradiction with himself...he will never be either man or citizen...he will be a bourgeois. He will be nothing." That's what Karl Marx loved. People who just pursue their own self-interest is not much. Now men, women, sexuality and love. Well, civilization becomes culture when sex is sublimated; bodily desire is turned into imagination. We will see that greatly inspires Sigmund Freud. There are two mechanisms which constitute social compassion: pity and love. And he also adds a very provocative idea of his time and kind of foreshadows postmodern thought: Enlightenment demythologizes the world. Deprived from its meaning, it's a cold rational world of the marketplace, and competitive, isolated individuals; that's what modern world Enlightenment produced. And the world became unerotic, unpoetic. This is something which will play a big role in Max Weber's idea of disenchantment, or if you know Marcuse's wonderful book, Eros and Civilization, comes straight out of Rousseau. Rousseau wants to bring back the erotic--not sex, the erotic experience. Well the love develops in three stages. As I said quest--first is quest. You are in love but you don't know yet with whom. Again think back: you were thirteen or fourteen, you began to search for somebody to love. Then comes the discovery. You found it. That's it, that's the person I am in love with. mile finds Sophie. What brings them together, he said, is the differences--that they complement each other. Durkheim will argue it can be similarity what brings us together. It's a more complex argument, but the origin of the idea is in Rousseau. Then comes the important part. Once you fall in love, don't rush. As I said, not sex, eros is what he's believing. Leave, right? Don't rush to bed. Go to travel, and then when you travel

you think about the person you love. You idealize that person in your mind, and that's when this love becomes an erotic experience. Then you can go home and you can consume the love. Right? I think this is really wonderful. Well, and here comes a problem: his views on gender relations. Well men and women are different, and that means that they ought to be taught differently. "If you would decide," he said, "to raise women like men," he said, "men will gladly consent to this. The more women want to resemble men, the less women will govern them." Well you can say it's a pretty sexist observation, but probably an idea you heard before. Right? Who wears the hat in the family? This is the kind of argument, that women are the bosses after all. Well therefore what the education should do: cultivate men's qualities--not to cultivate men's qualities in women, but raise it differently. Well, and here are the citations which shows you Rousseau the sexist. Hard to say he's not a sexist bastard, right? "Woman is made specially to please men." Well I'm sure at least half of the men in this room are also outraged, and I think probably all the women are outraged. But I hope there are other men in this room, not only me, who is upset by this statement. Well he said, "Women and men are made for one another, but their mutual dependence is not equal. Men depend on women because of their desires; women depend on men because of both their desires and their needs. We would survive more easily without them than they would without us." I mean me, man. This is of course straight silly, right? I was widowed for awhile. I know how much more difficult it is for a man to survive without a woman than for a woman to survive without a man. Well and then he goes on: "Almost all little girls learn to read and write with repugnance. But as far as holding a needle, that they always learn gladly. Sewing, embroidery and lace making come by themselves." So nothing more should be said. But there are other citations. Read this one. And there are some post-feminists who actually like this Rousseau, who says men and women should be different. He said, "Sophie ought to be a woman as mile is a man." And then he goes further. He said, "In everything not connected with sex, woman is a man." In some ways he's formulating the idea of the gender. Right? Gender equality, sexual differences; that's what he said. The problem is if women try to look sex-wise like they were men. Right? That's, I think, an interesting idea. And then he said, "Everything men and women have in common belongs to the species, the human species, and everything which distinguishes them belongs simply to sexual differences." And then he said, "In the union of sexes each contributes equally to the common aim, but not in the same way." Well I will suspect that most of you will see him as a sexist. But some of you may actually see the points what he's making in this last set of quotations. Thank you.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 7 Transcript September 24, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: So Adam Smith. And this is what I want to rush quickly through. His life--we don't really know all that much about his life, and it is not as colorful as Jean Jacques Rousseau. And then his major contributions: his theory of self-interest and how selfinterest is related to the common good, his labor theory of value, his idea of distribution of value between labor capital and rent, and finally (what is the most often cited) with his theory of the invisible hand.

So here it is, Adam Smith. About his life, he was born in 1723 in Scotland, Kirkcaldy, just outside of Edinburgh, which is a beautiful city. If you did not visit it yet, I recommend that you do. He entered the University of Glasgow, and interestingly at that time, in the mideighteenth century, for reasons which is beyond me, next to Paris and in a way London, Edinburgh was the center of the Scottish Enlightenment. Then he also went to Oxford, in Balliol College, and in 1751 he was appointed at the University of Glasgow as a--Glasgow I would not recommend as a tourist destination, by the way--he became a professor of logic, and then he became a professor of moral philosophy, believe it or not. Right? The person who is known about self-interest and the invisible hand, his major first job was professor of moral philosophy, of ethics. And, in 1759, he published a book, the book called The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which is a book on ethics. Well we will see this is a big issue, whether this book was written out of expediency; he wrote it just because he wanted to justify that he's a professor of moral philosophy and he didn't really believe in it because he was an economist, a rational choice economist, or was he really a moralist? That's one of the big questions I think what scholars on Adam Smith are debating. He traveled in Europe, and this may have been a turning point in his life. He meets Voltaire and Quesnay, a major economist of his time, and other representatives of French Enlightenment. And French Enlightenment may have actually influenced him and pushed him, after the return of Glasgow, to Kirkcaldy for awhile; he went back and that's where he mainly wrote The Wealth of Nations, and that's the most important book. But I think in order to understand Adam Smith, we have to come to terms with the apparent tension between The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations. Is this the same author, or these are two different authors? Is it the same theory, or there are two different theories offered to us? And that's I think very complicated. He passed away in 1790. Well I wanted to find you some figures about--pictures about his life. The only thing what I could find is a memorial on the site where the house stood in Kirkcaldy, where he wrote The Wealth of Nations. So it's not only Yale University which is turning buildings down; even the British do turn all buildings down, even if they should not have done so. Right? It would be so nice to visit the house where The Wealth of Nations was written. But if you go to Kirkcaldy, well you can visit that site and to have a look. Okay, so as I said, Adam Smith seemed to have two faces. Regularly, normally today, if you take economics classes, he is presented as the person who is advocating the self-interested individual and a committed theorist of the self-regulating markets, of the invisible hand-- as

little government as possible, pursue just your self-interest, and your self-interest will lead to the common good. So he is the sort of inspiration for neoclassical economics and rational choice theory, and methodological individualism, to put it this way. But he has this book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, in which he is writing about sympathy as an important motivation for human action. And is this just a concession to his job, or is there something deep in him which also saw the need for a helping hand by the public authorities? That's the big puzzle we have to struggle with. Well there are other people who are more qualified to give you the most authentic interpretation of Smith. I'll try to do my best. Okay? Well and indeed The Wealth of Nations looks like about self-interested individuals and the invisible hand. I will present you enough citations that you see it. I will also show you why it is possible. Some of Smith's interpreters will suggest that this is the same Mill [correction: Smith], and in fact The Wealth of Nations is just an extension of The Theory of Moral Sentiments, rather than a contradiction to it. This is not the majority view. Right? Today, among economists in particular, the majority view is that you should not really pay much attention to The Theory of Moral Sentiments. The Wealth of Nations gives you the real source and inspiration, and this is what guides neoclassical economics. But you may find some economists who disagree, and you will find a number of political philosophers who will disagree and will say that this is not the real Adam Smith who is presented to you by neoclassical economists. And I don't want to take a position in this. I'm not sufficiently a Smith scholar to be able to do so. But I will present you the argument both ways, and you can make up your mind where you stand on this. So The Theory of Moral Sentiments--just very briefly what this is. He does ask the central question: How can we make moral judgment? How can we tell good from evil, good for bad? Well it's a very important issue and question. Many founding theorists of modern social theory were dealing with this. The most important one, we will talk about him at great--in fifteen minutes--is Frederick Nietzsche, of course; the genealogy of morals. This is the central question: Where does our conception of good and evil come from? But Adam Smith already here asked this question, and he said, well "what's the solution?" That inside you there is an inner person. You are two people. You act, and there is somebody inside you who is watching you, and that inside you will tell you, "You did something wrong; that was not the right thing to do." And I think you should be able to relate to this. I can. There is very often inner self, in myself, which tells me that was a mistake I did, that was a foolish thing I did, I should not have done so. I know people who have a very small impartial

internal spectator. I know people who have very great difficulties telling ever that I made a mistake. There are some people who always blame others if things go wrong. Well I think they have a moral problem, I would say. So what about yourself? You may have a moral problem if your inner self never tells you that you were wrong, and you are always liking to blame others if things went wrong. Then you have a problem, an ethical problem; at least this is Adam Smith's argument. Right? Simple and persuasive. Then he says--this is something which is kind of inspired by Hobbes--we are led by passion. But now he is not emphasizing fear. He said, "also by sympathy." That's crucial, and that's the crucial notion for those who emphasize that in fact Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations is the same Adam Smith as in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Because Adam Smith, those who argue for one Adam Smith rather than two Adam Smiths, say that he has a theory of humans which is a sympathetic theory of humans. What drives us, that we have sympathy for others, other people's sympathies, that in interacting with others we are seeking other people's sympathy. Right? We try to please people. We want to impress people. We want to have a reputation; we want to have a good reputation. We want to act honorably. So we are seeking sympathy. We have a sympathy--we have an understanding of other people's human conditions--but we are also expecting others to understand us and value us. Right? And I think this is a very important and intriguing idea, which I will show, try to show you later on, may not be completely inconsistent by the idea that seeking self-interest is leading to the common good. Right? Because indeed, if self-interest implies that I also want others to respect and evaluate [correction: value] me, the self-interest also implies that I want to do good to others. This is in your self-interest, that you can say at the end of the day, "I am a good person." Then, in fact, pursuing these self-interests may not be all that different from the common good because it is inside you. And this, I think, is the way how he is being read. And he introduces the notion for the first time of the concept invisible hand in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. But here the invisible hand is not what you are told Adam Smith's theory of the invisible hand is. It's not the laissez-faire free market. It's the hand of God. Right? God guides us to have a proper balance between passion and sympathy, and that is somehow God's will, what we follow. In fact, I will talk about this later on. A big deal is made out of Adam Smith's theory of the invisible hand. The term, the word, invisible hand, the term, comes up three times in his work. Right? And in each time he's using it in a different meaning. The way how we understand invisible hand comes from a section once, in one sentence, in The Wealth of Nations. And in fact it is specifically about foreign trade and international trade, not about the role of the government in domestic affairs, but it's about free trade, free international

trade. And this is the context in which he's using the invisible hand, as it is being interpreted mostly today by Adam Smith theorists. Right? So it's intriguing, isn't it? Watch yourself when you are coining a term because a term occasionally can stick and then it will be always attributed to you, even if you use it once in your life. Okay? Well The Wealth of Nations. Well these are kind of the Table of Contents. He writes about the division of labor and determination of prices, accumulation of capital. He writes about the evaluation of societies: hunting, raising agriculture, and commercial societies. He never used the term capitalism; modern economy was commercial industrial society for him. And then he offers a criticism of mercantilism. That's where he offers an argument for free international trade, and that's where he introduces the notion of the invisible hand. And then something is on taxation, what I will not talk about. So self-interest and the common good; one of the big issues we have to discuss when we are faced with Adam Smith. And the arguments are if you are interacting with each other, do not expect benevolence. Right? Do not expect that somebody else will be charitable to you. There is also saying if you are seeking self-interest--specifically in the citations I have; for instance, choosing your employment. If you chose it rationally, this will be in the common good. And I will try to explain why you seeking self-interest in finding the job which is best for you is also the best for society. And then he says, well the individuals are the better judges of their own interests than any statement or lawgiver. As little state as possible--that's where it is coming from, and we will see how he argues the case. So do not expect benevolence. Okay, this is a very frequently cited sentence from Adam Smith. It's not in the text I assigned for this course. Well, "It is not the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner from, but the very self-interest of the butcher." I go to the restaurant, I do not expect the cook to prepare me a good meal because I need a good meal and I expect the cook to like me. Right? I want him to cook a good meal because then I will give a tip. It is in the self-interest of the waiter to serve me well and serve me good food. Otherwise I will not go back again and I will not give a tip. I will punish. It is appealing to the self-interest of the person for whom I expect something, and not is benevolence. Well he said well we address ourselves not to the humanity of the people, not to their selflove, but we want people to take advantage of this. This is an interesting issue, by the way, even in everyday life. I'm sure in this room there are people who think about this differently. Just to give you a very personalized example. My wife occasionally tells me, "This person is not a good friend of yours because this person only calls you when that person needs you." And this does happen. And my answer always is--and I think in this way, deep in my heart,

I'm a Smithian--"I don't want friends, I don't want anybody, who do not see an advantage in interacting with me. I want people who actually act out of self-interest seeking my relationship. It will be a bad relationship if my friends always think that it cost them to talk to me, and they do not benefit from the relationship with me." Right? I don't want my children just to act out of love and sort of be a pain in the neck for them. Right? I want my children to see that having me as a father is beneficial for them. That's a good relationship. Good relationships are always based on self-interest. You don't want to have a lover who does not enjoy being your lover. Therefore you want people acting out of self-interest. And I think that's what he's getting at here. He said even the beggar--here actually the citation says, "The beggars are the ones who are dependent only upon benevolence." But then he qualifies it, he says, "But even for the beggar it is not quite true." Right? The beggar will make some tricks in which, in fact, actually will appeal to your self-interest, that you are a charitable person or what. Now self-interest in employment. He said well it's a very good example. He said when you are choosing an occupation, of course you want to have a big job, you want to be well-paid. Right? Those of you who are an economics major, you may want to have some nice job at some brokerage firm in Wall Street, and with a Yale Bachelor's Degree you would like to earn $100,000.00 a year. Right? But why would you earn $100,000.00? Because the employer gets a lot out of these skills what you get out of Yale, and therefore it will be in the interest of the society that you get the highest possible salary because you make the greatest contribution to the common good; otherwise you would not be paid that high. Okay? So therefore you will try to find that occupation in which you get the highest possible reward, but you will get only the highest possible reward because you make the utmost contribution you can, with your talent, with your hard work, and with your skills, to the common good. This is Adam Smith's argument. It's a persuasive argument actually. Right? Well I can go on; it's not all that important. Now this is very important too, I find. "Individuals are the better judge of their own interests than anybody else." Right? And well this is I think again extremely important, and I'm sure this classroom is divided fifty/fifty percent along these views. Right? He said well the individuals in the local situations are simply better judges to what is their interest than any statement or lawgiver. Right? People should judge for themselves what they want and it should not be a government which imposes it on them. Right? This is a big debate right now, for instance about the healthcare insurance, the healthcare reform. Should we let it up to people to decide whether they want to have an insurance or not? Should we expect people to be individually responsible for themselves, to take charge of their life? Or should it be the government, or should it be a statesman, the

lawgiver, the Congress who takes care of people? And he clearly takes a position no, I think people are the best judges of their feelings. Now the labor theory of value. And let me rush through of it. This is important. His point of departure comes from John Locke, as we have seen, and it is leading directly to Karl Marx. Karl Marx radicalizes his position, but the point of departure is clearly Adam Smith. And the argument about the labor theory of value: the labor is the measure of all values. And then he said, "The whole produce belongs to the labor." And so far Marx completely agrees with him; and we will see when we will be discussing Marx. But then he departs from it because he asks the question, where does the profit and rent come from? Marx asked this question as well, and he says exploitation; those who earn profit exploit the workers. But Adam Smith has a different view. He says well those who will lend capital and those who offer land also deserve part of the value. Now let's see how this contradiction can be resolved, how he's dealing with this. How can that all value is created by labor and belongs to the laborer, and nevertheless the capitalist pockets profit and the landowner pockets rent for the land? Then here this is very much John Locke: "The value of any commodity belongs to the person who possesses it, and if it is not for use or consumption but exchange, then the value of this commodity is equal to the amount of labor which has to be put into this." "Labor is therefore," he said, "the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities." Right? Commodities can have a use value, they can be very useful, and they can have very little labor in it, like fresh air; though by now we know fresh air needs quite a bit of labor too. Right? But the exchange, how the exchange it, will be guided, according to Smith, by labor. Few people accept today the labor theory of value; Smith or Marx, no matter what. And it belongs to the whole laborer. This is a very interesting argument. He said--and this is again John Locke--"The property of every man is his own labor, and therefore every value is created by this labor, and therefore it has to belong to the person who owns the labor." "But." he said, "this is true for societies before capital is being accumulated and before land is privately owned." Right? So this is really an argument for ancient societies, without capital accumulation and without private ownership of the land. In these conditions, if there is no capital accumulation and no private ownership, land is commonly owned, then the whole produced labor belongs to the laborer. This is where he, Marx, will depart dramatically from Adam Smith. So where does the profit and rent come? Well are capitalists simply exploiting the workers? He said, "No, there is a distribution of value [correction: income] between labor, capital and

rent." Right? And this is reasonable, because the capitalist offers capital in order--in fact, advances capital to the laborer, takes risks with this advancement of the capital, supervises the labor process--and therefore it should claim some profit from capital; otherwise would be a fool not to advance its capital. And the same goes for land actually. Landowners also will have to give the land a site in which production takes place, and therefore they really should be able to collect some rent on this land. Well finally the invisible hand. There are three conceptions of this--I briefly pointed this out-in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. He said this is really God which gives us a sense of sympathy and creates a balance between passion, desires, and hunger for more, and selfrestraint to respect others and earn respect from others. Right? And then, of course, in The Wealth of Nations, this appears to be the free marketplace. And then finally he had a manuscript, History of Astronomy, and he said the invisible hand is the hand of Jupiter; the hand of Jupiter because people, as long as they are ignorant, phenomena--lightening for instance, what they don't--cannot explain--attribute to the will of Jupiter. Right? Superstition; the invisible hand is superstition. Okay? So what is fun, that three instances where the notion of the invisible hand is used, in each case a different meaning, and in none of the cases exactly the same meaning as we normally understand it. Okay, I think I'm now moving over to John Stuart Mill, and to utilitarianism. And he's a wonderful man and makes a lot of--Okay, so this is all about utilitarianism and liberty, and the long road from Jeremy Bentham to John Stuart Mill. Utilitarianism is a fundamentally important proposition. It informs modern economic theory, and it informs political and social theories which are in the kind of rational choice mode of theorizing. And the point of departure is Bentham, who in many ways is the Founding Father of utilitarianism, though he never used the term, and he influenced the life of John Stuart Mill in a major way. Mill's father was James Mill, quite an intellectual. He wrote a big three volume history of India and the British involvement in India. He met Bentham in 1808 and he fell in love with the theory of utilitarianism, and he asked him to supervise the education of his son--what he did. And sort of poor John Stuart Mill grew up under the influence of a very strong father and a very strong teacher. And he invented the term, John Stuart Mill, the term utilitarianism in 1822, at a very young age. Then he suffers a nervous breakdown. When you see what utilitarianism is, you will not wonder; I mean, if you are really a strict utilitarian, difficult to survive without a nervous breakdown. All right, so what is Bentham's theory? He published a book, The Principles of Morals and Legislation, in 1789, and there are some very important

claims in this book. And at first instance they sound very reasonable, but he may be pushing his luck too far. He said, "Well we are created to seek pleasure and to avoid pain, and therefore if we can minimize the pain and maximize the pleasure, that's when we achieve the greatest happiness." That's what will be called utility. Right? So action is right if it is leading to happiness. Right? We all want to be happy. Okay, well and this can be actually quantified. The action is right, morally right, if the sum of pleasures minus the sum of pains, multiplied by the number of persons affected by action is positive. Right? Sounds reasonable, right? If more people are happy in society than unhappy, then the society does as well as it can. Right? That's really the argument. Well there are a couple of citations. I don't want to dwell on this too long. I will put it on the web; and it's not in the text I require from you to read. So, he said, "The two big masters are pain and pleasure"; somewhat a kind of similar argument to Hobbes. And he said, "An action may be said to be conformable with the principle of utility when the tendency is to augment happiness, and that is greater than to diminish it." And what is utility? "Utility is that principle which approves or disapproves a reaction to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question." Right? This is a notion of utility which is not all that far away what economists are using, even at this time. Then here comes something what I think nobody would accept now, that's simply--he said, "Well it's easy therefore to calculate it." Right? And I already pointed this out, you just count the number of people who are happy and who have pain, and count the number of people who are happy with it and have pleasure, and if more people have pleasure, the sum total of pleasure exceeds the sum total of pains, then you got the good society. That's utilitarianism la Bentham. Well John Stuart Mill--here he is. He was born in London. He never attended school; he was a lucky one. But not necessarily all that lucky because his teacher was Bentham and John [correction: James] Mill, who were tough people, and he had to start learning Latin and Greek when he was three-years-old. Well if there are anybody who is Asian-American in the room, Chinese, you may have to start actually to learn how to read and write in Chinese pretty early. But he did this with Latin and Greek which to my mind is a big easier than to learn all the characters in Chinese. Anyway, '22, he established the Utilitarian Society and invents the term utilitarianism. And then he suffers a nervous breakdown; I mean, two domineering people in his life. And then he also becomes very sort of unhappy with the expediency emphasis on utilitarianism-instrumentalism, the coldness of the argument. He's actually becoming--becomes interested in

poetry. And then he meets Harriet Taylor, a wonderful lady, and a friendship, a very close friendship is formed. Harriet Taylor was a fantastic intellectual, as far as we can judge; one of the very first radical feminists, and had a probably extraordinary impact on the work of John Stuart Mill. If he would have been a real feminist, he probably should have put on his work Harriet Taylor as a co-author; she probably co-authored this work. I mean, she was married, and this was an interesting triangle which did develop. I mean, in what way we don't quite know, but they were traveling together, the threefold; anyway, quite interesting. What can I say? Well '51, Mr. Taylor passes away, and then John Stuart Mill immediately marries Harriet Taylor. But unfortunately she has a very short life and dies after a short marriage. So his undisturbed happiness, to put it this way, did not last very long, and he died in '73 in Avignon. Now about the work, briefly. We'll be talking about three pieces of work On Liberty, Utilitarianism. I will not talk about his role as a member of parliament where actually he was one of the first advocates for female suffrage, which did not fly at that time, and he even lost re-election probably because he's advocating voting rights for women. And then he wrote, '69, Subjection of Women, which in many ways is a feminist book, quite a radical feminist book--a feminist book you can rarely read from a man, and especially not in 1869. Okay, so what are his major contributions? He redefines utilitarianism. Right? As I said, he found it too cold. He needed more sentiments. Poetry-- Harriet Taylor, gave him a sense of the world which is richer in sentiments. So he says, well there is higher happiness. Right? There is a lower level of happiness and there is a higher level of happiness. To have a good steak, well it is pleasurable. But to listen to the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven, it's greater happiness. Right? It's a higher level of happiness when you hear the concluding chorale of the Ninth Symphony. You are through the roof of pleasure; you have a higher level of happiness than eating a nice rare steak. Right? That's a higher level of happiness. And he said--and nobody argues it more forcefully than him--"Individual liberty is the ultimate value, and expediency"--and you know what he means by expediency, that you get there by using the least means and you maximize the return--"expediency cannot justify intervention against individual liberty." A very interesting issue; a very accurate, a very up-todate issue. Just think about 9/11; this is exactly the problem of the 9/11--how much we can act against individual liberty in the name of expediency; how much we are willing to accept the limitations in individual liberty? And well we will see, he said, expediency is not to be ignored, but when the chips come down, he said, it is individual liberty. He's a libertarian,

right? He is for the sanctity of the liberty of the individual, and he's the ultimate of British individualism and the sacredness of British individualism. And finally the third major contribution. He said women's legal situation resembles those of slaves; they are only worse off than slaves are. And he argues that in a very articulate way. And women should have equal rights in jobs, in public life, the same kind of education--total confrontation with Jean Jacques Rousseau. But he believes that in marriage they can create a friendship bond with males. Well Harriet Freedman [correction: Taylor] did not quite agree with this. Though she married twice, she both times did it probably reluctantly. She did not believe in the institution of the marriage, though she did marry twice. Okay, well let me see whether I can still do this, his stuff on utilitarianism, and leave the rest for Tuesday. I think I have some three more minutes to go. The main themes in the work Utilitarianism is the concept of higher happiness; human beings have faculties for more elevated appetites than animals have. Then he talks about justice and legality. It's a very complex issue, but where he thinks that the law is a more restrictive notion than justice, and he stands for the idea of justice, and shows some contradiction between law and justice as such. And then he talks about justice and expediency--why justice cannot be simply explained by expediency. Well again something which speaks very much to the issues which are on our mind. Does expediency makes it just that you torture an Al-Qaeda or a prisoner, or a suspected Al-Qaeda prisoner, to get information out because this way you save lives? Some people will say, "Yes, this makes it just." Others will say, "No, it is unjust, and therefore expediency--you should not use expediency that you get better information out from torture." Well I think I'll probably leave it here and then we'll continue it Tuesday. And I hope it got you up in speed--utilitarianism and John Stuart Mill, and Adam Smith, and you see how actually John Stuart Mill and utilitarianism radicalizes one stream of thought which is in Adam Smith, but Adam Smith is not quite ready to go as far as Bentham went, and even not as far as John Stuart Mill went. Okay.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 8 Transcript September 29, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Let's get going with John Stuart Mill. Let me just one more time to say John Stuart Mill is formidably influential, very influential on our days. He's the ultimate of liberalism. And in some ways, among all the authors we will be reading this semester, he's the most consistent, the clearest one and the most consistent of them all. He draws the line to the logical conclusions, no matter what it is. Right? And taking his point of departure from Adam Smith--Locke, Adam Smith and then Bentham--he pushes the line of utilitarianism to its most logical conclusions, and he's extremely influential on what we call now neoclassical economics, and he was exactly the person, who made many people who were liberals and Democrats in the 1960s and '70s, to change and create what they called neo-conservativism or neo-liberalism and went over to the Republican Party. It was an important dividing line. Mill's

staunch insistence on individual liberty, and what follows from this staunch insistence for the role of the state and how far states can interfere with individuals. That was really, I think, the dividing line in which many people who were on the political left, center left, or occasionally far left, by the late 1960s, early '70s, seeing stuff like the affirmative action, the War on Poverty, they changed their lines. They said, "Look, the Democratic Party, liberalism, really betrays liberalism. That's not liberalism. Read John Stuart Mill. That's when you will know what real liberalism is." Right? Anyway, so I think this is why his message is very much alive. And I'm sure that this classroom is divided by people. Some people subscribe to John Stuart Mill's liberalism. Others probably do think that he emphasizes too much individual liberties and there is much more of a role to implement the general good by the government. Okay, I mean, I think we left it right here last week. These are the main themes of his book on utilitarianism, the way how he departs from Bentham--a very important change that he's beginning to emphasize there are higher happinesses we can seek. It is not simply quantity but quality of happiness is what we seek. A very important contribution, I think, and this is an idea which is only touched upon by Adam Smith but really not properly developed, and certainly completely missing in Bentham. It is really Mill's contribution which is very important for contemporary economic theory, neoclassical economics. They call this preferences, that we have preferences, and therefore individuals will attach different values to different utilities. And this really comes from the work of John Stuart Mill, when he makes this distinction between legality and justice, and what is legal is not necessarily just, and what is just is necessarily approved by laws. And then justice and expediency: what is expedient is not necessarily just, and well just may have its cost and may not be the fastest way to get there. Right? Okay, so let's labor our way through of this, and leave time to look at the questions. Well the idea is that we are human beings and therefore we have a capacity to have higher appetites than the animal appetites. Right? So we have imagination, what animals don't have. We have moral sentiments, and these moral sentiments may lead us in our choices. Right? Now you can see--I mentioned that about Adam Smith, that Adam Smith might have had this theory of sympathetic humans, which in a way pointed this direction. This is very central for John Stuart Mill. And therefore, he emphasizes there is a qualitative difference between human and simply animal appetites. So therefore you simply cannot do what Bentham did, simply add up appetites and to say if more appetites are satisfied, better off the society is. The chief good, so

he argues, is virtue. Be virtuous and then you will feel good; you will be happier if you are virtuous, as such. But, you know, these are all qualifications of the kind of elementary utilitarianism; I think qualifications but, by the way, most rational choice theorists and most neoclassical economists will also agree with. Those who are critiques of neo-liberals and utilitarianism very often kind of caricature their position, not really understanding that following John Stuart Mill--they do understand that there is a qualitative differences between utilities. But otherwise he remains by the utilitarian principle. We are rational actors, we are selfinterested, we know what our needs are, and we can make good judgments whether the price we have to pay in order to satisfy our needs is worth for us. Right? That is the fundamental idea of utilitarianism, which is, thank you, very healthy today. There are many people who disagree with it. There are many people who agree with it. Right? But this is all John Stuart Mill's addition. And now a bit on higher happiness. Well the pleasure of the beast might be felt as degrading by a human being. Right? We want to have some--we have higher needs than just the animal needs. So you go to a five-star restaurant where they serve you a little food. It will be delicious, but it will be unlike these Italian family restaurants down the road on Wooster Street where they give you food what you can hardly eat which satisfies your animal appetites. Right? So anyway, we have higher needs, higher appetites. We want to see our food served in a special way. We just don't feed our belly, as such. And there are the pleasures of the intellect and imagination; I think we already have seen this in Rousseau, how important imagination is. And if you are in comparative literature or English, of course the aesthetic theories of Schiller, the German poet, who emphasized how important actually imagination and play is in figuring out what beauty is. All right, and then a bit on quality of pleasures. Right? Really the question is what kind of pleasure satisfies us, rather than just the quantity. And I think this is a very powerful point. Well few humans would consent to be changed into any of the lower animals. Right? No intelligent being would consent to be a fool, even though they should be persuaded that a fool is better satisfied than a lot of man; it's easier to satisfy occasionally a fool. And this is really beautiful: "It's better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied." Right? "Better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied." Bingo, right? He got it. I think that's very beautifully done, powerfully done. Think about it. Very hard to disagree with this. Right? You want to be Socrates and dissatisfied, rather than just being satisfied by your needs.

Well I don't want to dwell too much on the issue of justice and legalities. Quite obvious, that there are differences between justice and legality. Well it is unjust if anybody's deprived from his personal liberty or property, even if that's what the law tells you. I mean, Communist government confiscated property from people, and they did it legally, but John Stuart Mill will say they did it unjustly. Right? It was legally done, but unjustly. Right? It was against the sense of justice of people who are being deprived from their property. And there are laws which do not exist, though they should exist, because some of the individual rights are not properly defended, and you really should have such laws. And, of course, for him there has not been in his time sufficient laws to protect the rights of women or the rights of slaves. Well also today we are concerned about whether we have proper protection in this country for individual liberties against surveillance techniques, for instance, which were used very recently in the United States. Many people think we need very stricter controls on the government, whether they can listen to our telephone conversations. Right? We want to have very clear laws which define exactly what torture is. We may be uncertain whether the laws are sufficiently clear. Right? So therefore you need occasionally laws which protects human rights. This argument can be used actually for affirmative action, that you may need occasionally laws which kind of eliminates the inequalities of people's freedoms. Some people are less free than others because they start from a different starting point. Then you can use John Stuart Mill's argument then to say you need a law which will protect these people and make sure they are free enough, that you create an equality of freedom; that would be his argument. And there are laws which exist but they should not exist. There are bad and unjust laws. Well we debate this issue a great deal. I'm sure there are some people in this country who do think that the government should not kill. Right? There are some people who are against the death penalty. Probably the majority is for the death penalty, but there is probably a minority in this room--I don't want to ask you to show hands, though I might [laughs]--but I'm sure there are some people who think the government should not kill people. I'm one of those. I don't think that's right. I think life is sacred. I believe sufficiently in Hobbes' First Law of Nature, no government should kill. So death penalty, I don't think it's right. But you can argue it's necessary to defend other people's freedom. Right? But I think John Stuart Mill probably would have been unhappy with the death penalty. So you may want to change legislation. Right? You may want to have a legislation which eliminates the death penalty. Or another issue is let's say--again I'm sure this audience here is divided on the question of abortion. There are some people who believe that abortion should be prohibited by law because you should defend the freedom and right of existence of the

unborn child. Right? There are others who argue the freedom argument on the other side. Right? They say, "No, you should not prohibit abortion because you should defend the liberty of the woman who carries the child." Right? Well, these are just examples that these issues are talking to very contemporary issues. All right, justice and equality. Well this is a very interesting idea, what he's playing around. He said we have actually a sense that justice is somehow related to equality--that we occasionally feel that some degree of inequality is already unjust. Even if it is legally achieved by legal means, we may see it is unjust. Usually inequalities are explained and justified by expediency. Right? You have to create these high levels of inequality because you have to create incentives. We just heard this debate the last couple of weeks. If you try to limit the bonuses the guys on Wall Street do get, you do a lot of damage because these hot brokers will be hired by the competition. Therefore they have to get these hundred million dollar bonuses; otherwise the business will be hurt. Right? And there were banks which were paying back billions of dollars to the federal government so the federal government cannot intervene and cannot overrule how much bonuses they pay. Right? Expediency, right? They say, "Oh give me a break about this justice stuff, that this is unfair that somebody earns a hundred million dollars. They should earn, because otherwise the competition gets them." Right? Well this is the argument of expediency, not the argument of justice. Right? All right, well there are different components of justice. Well the first and most important one: "It is unjust to deprive anyone of his personal liberty and property." That's the most important point in John Stuart Mill. He's staunchly defending individual liberty. The second one: "Legal right is deprived, may be rights which ought not to have belonged to him." Right? There may be privileges--I mean, in contemporary societies this is much less common. In his time there were a lot of laws which defended people's privileges--feudal privileges, what he wanted to get rid of. Right? They were unjust. Well he also then suggests that each person should obtain what he or she deserves, even if it is not guaranteed by law. Well how far you go with this argument--it again can be very controversial. You can say, "Well you need a welfare state. You have to provide the basic goods and services for everybody." You know, this argument can be used. You have to provide housing. You should not let anybody without shelter, or you should not let anybody without healthcare. That would be consistent with John Stuart Mill.

And then he said, "Well it is unjust if you break faith." Right? You promise somebody I will do it, and then you take your word back. That's unjust; you should not do that. And finally-this is very important--justice cannot be partial. Right? It has to be blind and has to be equal to all parties. And now justice and expediency. I again don't want to labor on this. This is obvious, that what is expedient is not necessarily just. Expedient is if you reach that goal with minimum effort, but occasionally you don't--you better not make shortcuts; making those shortcuts may be unjust and unfair. And then, of course, sympathy. Right? We are all capable to sympathize, not only with people we know but with the whole humankind we have sympathy. Sympathy for our country and our mankind. It's a bit like Rousseau's l'amour propre idea. I think I'll probably skip this one. I think it's quite obvious why justice and expediency do have a complicated relationship. And now on the other book, On Liberty. Right? Well while Bentham only emphasized that we are seeking pleasure, Mill emphasized self-development. He said we have to--in our lifetime, we have to develop our capacities. Right? And what follows from this, individualism and liberty; these are the major values, rather than just satisfying our needs. Well this is an extremely important idea, and very much an idea of John Stuart Mill. We should not take freedom as granted. And he said, "Be very careful of rulers who identify with the people. It does not guarantee freedom, because it can lead to the tyranny of the majority. You have to defend the rights of the individuals, the rights of the minorities, that they should be also free to choose." This follows very logically from his argument of these higher happinesses, preferences, arrived at by individual judgments--not superimposed by government but individuals decide what is the higher value they attach to a utility. And therefore it can be minorities which do have different preferences, and we have to respect those preferences. That's very crucially important ideas. And individual liberty should always take precedence over short-term utilitarian consideration. Right? The main value is that individually that--believe me, this is not a contradiction, it follows very logically from the idea of preferences and from the idea that there are qualitative differences between utilities, and you are the only one who can decide what is worse for you. Nobody else can make a decision, a judgment for you. This is consistent with Adam Smith, by the way.

And then freedom of expression. There is nobody whom we will read who stands so strongly for freedom of expression--complete, unlimited freedom of expression. And the United States comes very close to this, and this is the only country in the world which comes so close to it. In other countries which are democratic, free, and liberal, freedom of speech may be limited. Hate speech may be actually limited. Right? Denying the Holocaust and you end up in jail in Germany. Right? But in the U.S., we are very close to the Millian idea. And he said this is absolutely necessary to have total freedom of speech because an opinion, which suppressed right, then we lose the opportunity to exchange truths for error. So therefore it's obvious that it's non-controversial--that truth, even if it's unpleasant, should be allowed to be spoken. Right? What is more problematic should we allow to people to speak falsehood? I mean, we know that the Holocaust existed. Should we allow those crazy people to tell us, against all this strong evidence what we have, that there was no Holocaust? He argues yes we should, because this is the only way how we can find out the error, if we talk about this. It's a very controversial argument. As I said, there are not many countries in this world which do subscribe to it. Right? So, and he said we have to listen to both sides; that's the only way how we find out what the truth is. And tyranny by the majority. Well this is a very, very important argument; namely, one of the major evils of a mass democratic society is a tyranny of the majority. There will be a very strong tendency to suppress dissent and to create conformity with the majority views. And he said well, we have to try to resist it, and we have to emphasize individuality. Conformism is moral repression. Right? There's a lot of pressure on you to conform with the major--the mainstream, as such, and he said this is one of the big evils what we have to resist. We have to defend individual liberties, and we have to fight against intervention; legal or non-legal intervention. Right? He did not live in a mass communication society, but he would have been outraged how the media tries to brainwash people and put into a conformist behavior on people. Right? He wanted to defend people's individual choices of lifestyles and sexual preferences and whatever you name; it has to be defended. And this is very important. This is a clear extension, very clearly argued--Adam Smith did basically agree with this, but he did not put it so strongly and so clearly--"Therefore intervention by a government is only permissible if injury has taken place." The government cannot limit individual liberties, only if that causes injury. And he said, "Look, believe me, I'm not indifferent. I am for compassion. All what I am asking you is tolerance. Respect other people's choices. Do feel compassion, but don't try to make decisions for others; don't impose your will on others." That's I think the--and conformity, he really disliked conformity. It's a

century ahead of his time. This becomes a very big issue in the 1960s and '70s, that conformism is an evil, and he already writes about this in the mid-nineteenth century. And well interference. The only justification is self-protection. Right? This is very much in line of Hobbes' argument. And therefore he said, "I'm not for indifference, but I am for permissiveness, for tolerance as such." Well we should help each other, but that's different than to impose our will or our taste or our preferences on other people. Right? "Neither one person, nor any number of person, is warranted in saying to other human creatures of ripe years"--that's different with children--"that he shall not do with his life for his own benefit what he chooses to do with it." Right? A very strong argument, and very troubling. You know? What do you think about drug use? Right? Well if John Stuart Mill errs, he errs on the libertarian side. He probably would be arguing for the decriminalization of most of the drugs, on these grounds. It's people's choice. If they know that they hurt their life, this is their story. Now very briefly on his views on women. And I don't have to introduce you to the background. You know that in the mid-nineteenth century women did not have equal rights, even not in England, not in the United States. They not only did not have the right to vote, but they actually did not have the right to own property, as such. Well as I mentioned, Harriet Taylor, his lover and wife, was a radical feminist--as far as we know, an extremely smart woman. She was more radical than Smith [Correction: Mill], because she actually, as I pointed out, opposed even the institution of marriage. So what are the major themes in this book? The first point is "marriage is the only remaining case of slavery." Well it's not true of course. Slavery has existed elsewhere, and unfortunately de facto still exists around the world. But he said, you know, "The subjugation of women is a case of slavery, and it cannot be explained by the nature of women." And he makes a case for it. He argues for legal equality in marriage, and equality of women in politics and education, and finally makes a case for marital friendship. So he said marriage is the only remaining example of slavery because they cannot own property and, in fact, their husbands can use them for sexual desires. So in this sense it is even worse than slavery. At least the slaves are not expected to love their slave owners; the wives are expected to love their husbands. So he said this is even worse than slavery. Right? And here he kind of elaborates on this issue--that it is not simply the obedience what man wants, but also their love. And usually these relationships were in the nineteenth century, and in many cases even in the twenty-first century, asymmetrical. Right? Man probably does not feel

as much obliged to express love towards their wives than they expect their wives to express love towards the man. Right? Unfortunately I think there are still men like this. Okay, so that's I think very provocative, very important statements, written in the midnineteenth century. Well, and then he said. "This cannot be explained by the nature of women." He expects the counterargument well different--you know, the Rousseauian argument, women are different. They want to knit, they want to be subjugated. He said, no, there are two counterarguments. One is that we don't know what the nature of women are because they did not have a chance for self-development. And then he said in order to justify women's sublimation [correction: subjugation], you should be able to show that no women were ever capable to occupy certain positions of political authority. If there were women who did that, then it cannot come from the nature of women. Right? That's a neat argument. Well here is the citation. "How would we know what the nature of the women is? Therefore this is an invalid argument." He argues for the equality for marriage, and that's today a kind of commonsensical; it doesn't need any further elaboration. And equality of women in politics and education and jobs. This is still very important. Larry Summers, the president of Harvard, probably had not read his John Stuart Mill carefully enough when he said that women are just not good enough to do engineering. Right? He should have read John Stuart Mill, and he should have known there is nothing in the nature of women why they would not do as well in engineering as men would. Sort of--and, you know, we still need some attention to diversity, women's diversity, in order to make sure that women do end up in political and other jobs. And then he makes a case for marital friendship. He said, "Well I still believe in marriage because marriage can be based on equality of partners." So this is John Stuart Mill. I hope you enjoy him. I think he is a controversial person, pushes his point as far as it can. But I think he's a very smart person. So let me just--I have twelve more minutes to go--and look at the questions and make a few comments how I would try to myself deal with these questions in answering, if I were in your shoes. Okay. And here we go. Let me see how far I can go. Okay, so question number one. The first point what I would try to make here is there are people who read Hobbes as believing that humans are evil by nature. This is not unreasonable. After all, why on earth you need a Leviathan, unless there is something wrong with us? One can also say well Locke puts a lot of emphasis how rational we are in the state of nature, and Rousseau is explicit about his noble savage idea. Right? It is society which corrupts. We all come out perfect from the hands

of the creator and then society screws us. So there seems to be really an argument here, would I try to say it quickly, that there is a controversy. Well I may try to qualify it in a sentence or two--that of course Hobbes could be read in a more complex way. Because after all Hobbes also believes that we are making rational decisions when we are sort of adjudicating between our desires and our fears, and we come to a rational decision about this. Therefore it's not that obvious that this is, maybe, but I would say that this is a qualification; that is, still one can see a controversy. Well Rousseau, yes he states that we are, you know, come out perfect from the hands of God, but after all in the state of nature we are savages, and therefore we need some general will to overrule our judgments. So there is some qualification how much faith Jean Jacques had in us. Right? He had a bit suspicious of us. So these are the kind of footnotes, qualifications to the argument. But then I would love--what I would do, I would say, "Well I am a bit tormented what to think about it. You know? Because I do know that indeed people can be quite evil. Right? And therefore we do need law and order, we do need some intervention. On the other hand, I think I am probably more inclined, if I have to err, to err on the side of Rousseau or John Stuart Mill, to believe that people are after all ethical and will act out of goodwill. And therefore I would like to see less of central planners telling me what I should be doing and what my needs are, and I would better live in a society where individuals can decide, make their free choices." That would be my line. But you could argue the other way around. Right? Tell us what your view is. Anyway, that's the way how I would deal with this question. That's I think quite clear. [Now addressing question 2] Hobbes believed in a strong and clearly identifiable sovereign-easy to support it with text. I think this is uncontroversial. And it's also quite clear that Locke wanted to limit the power of the executive. That's why he wants to separate the executive from the legislative. So I did that, and in comparing them is now pretty [un]controversial. You don't have to have many qualifications to this. Right? That's quite straightforward. Now, what do you think, what is your view on this? And you may say, "Well, Hobbes has got a lot to say." Think about September 11th, 9/11. Right? Well we need a strong government. Right? We need security. Right? We just cannot push too far for equality. Or you can take the opposite argument. He said--"Well I think all what happened after 9/11 was wrong. We should not have limited individual liberties. That's the American way, that you stand by liberty." Anyway, I'm sure people are divided on this, and I would like to hear your views on this.

[Now addressing question 3] It's a hard question to answer. In fact, it is also a question who is a methodological individualist, and a collectivist? I would say a methodological collectivist argues that there is stuff which is more than the sum total of individual. Montesquieu's emphasis on law is a very good one--that the law, you cannot explain the law by looking at each individual and end it up and that's the law. The law is there, and then it enters the individuals. Right? So there is a collective conscience which precedes the individual and enters individuals. And others like Hobbes or Locke argues the other way: "No, we have to start with the individual. The only thing what we can observe is the individual action and desires and will, and then we can arrive at the collectivity." Right? Well I'm not so sure whether you are a methodological individualist or not. But you can actually make a case whether you really think whether the right way is to think about the individual's action and the individuals, rather about the collective good which comes from something, somewhere else more historically. Well Rousseau's general will makes a strong case for it--easy to make, right? There is obviously something what is necessary for a general will. You want to believe, for instance, in universal healthcare, and to say, "Well this should not be left to individuals to decide whether they take out health insurance or not. Everybody should be insured, right? It's easy to see, right? Let's not fool us around, right? We need a general will." So I think an argument can be made. But then you can use Locke or Montesquieu or Mill or whomever to say, "Well there is trouble with this argument. Where on earth the general will is coming from?" Like methodological individualists, usually--let's say what about methodological collectivists? Where do you know what it is? Right? Where does it come from, if it is not in any individual consciousness, right? So where--how do government know what is my need? Did they get a letter telling them what my needs are and overrule my decision that I think this is my need and my preference? Right? So that can be devastating. And you can say, "Well this opens up the door to totalitarianism." Right? That's why Karl Marx loved Jean Jacques Rousseau so much. That's why Lenin loved Jean Jacques Rousseau so much, because they wanted to have the central planners which tell you, "This is your need. You don't--you know only your short-term needs. I know your long-term needs and therefore you have to do what I tell you to do." Right? And Rousseau does that, right? He says, "You have to be forced to be free. Right? I can't let you just to be free. I have to tell you what your real freedom is, what your real needs are." And you can be critical about this. So you see, you can make the point in both directions. I think both are respectable positions.

[Addressing question 5] Well Adam Smith pursues self-interest; you achieve the common good. Many of you believe in this. Right? Let's have free, unregulated markets, and then it will end up with the collective good. But, you know, Rousseau believes in the general will, which is more than the sum total of individuals. Well you can contrast it. It's very similar to the previous question. Right? And you can make a case, you know, why you think Adam Smith is right; where on earth you will figure out what needs are, unless people decide for themselves? Or you can say, "Well Adam Smith is not living in the real world, because he assumes perfect self-regulating markets and perfect informations, and none of those exist. So in the real world Adam Smith does not apply, and in the real world, well actually Jean Jacques Rousseau makes much more sense." Well again your call, how you make your decision about this. [Addressing question 6] Well strong government, by Hobbes, and Smith is about invisible hand, as little government as possible. Again, I don't think I have to elaborate on this; you can see the line of argument. Easy to show that Hobbes indeed stood for strong government. You have the citation--Adam Smith, for the invisible hand. You can add the footnote there is a controversy about this, but most people today in the twenty-first century interpret Adam Smith as the person of the invisible hand and small government. And then you can say what is your view. And again I think this class must be split, fifty/fifty percent. Some people still believe, you know, Ronald Reagan, the government is not the solution, the government is the problem. Other people believe in--liberal democrats who say, "No, no, no, we need big government, and just see what happened now in the global financial crisis, when there was not enough government and there was too much deregulation. We need regulation, and just see what George W. Bush did. Right? He bailed out from taxpayers' money." Anyway, you see the point, what you can do. You can argue it both ways. [Addressing question 7] Well the gender issue. Well hard to defend Rousseau, he really sucks. [laughter] But read him carefully. I gave you the citations. He said--well he foreshadows the idea of distinction between sex and gender. One can say he's a sophisticated feminist. He said women should not look like men. They have equally humans, they have the same human rights, but it would be wrong for women to dress like men. Right? What's wrong about a woman being feminine? There are some contemporary feminists who argue this way. So don't dismiss him too easy. Well Mill I don't think needs too much defense for feminists, though I could offer some criticism, feminist criticism, of him. [Addressing question 9] Well Mill was a utilitarian. Well what is his difference between Adam Smith? Well this is a hard question to ask. There is not that much difference. But as I

was trying to point out in the lecture today, there is a difference, right? John Stuart Mill is much more conscious about preferences and the qualitative differences we attach to different utilities. The idea is not something what Adam Smith would oppose to, but certainly an idea which has not been as elaborately developed in Adam Smith than it was in John Stuart Mill. [Question 10] Well this is very easy, right? Again, Hobbes arguing for security and Mill or Locke arguing for freedom. You can make the case, we have done it in earlier questions, and you can tell us what do you think. Again I think the room will be split. Do you want to allow people to carry guns? Some people think yes, for individual liberty. Others will say, "This is crazy. Most countries in the world wouldn't allow it, and just see these mutts mass murdering people in schools. Of course they do, if they can carry guns." 9/11, right? Torture. Listening to people's telephone conversations. Some people will say, "Well we are living in a dangerous world, we should allow the CIA to do that." Right? Others will say, "No, no, no. Our individual liberties are sacrosanct." Right? And this is what I would like to hear from you. Okay, have fun, and please do enjoy it. Right? It's not regurgitating. This exercise is about thinking. Thank you.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 9 Transcript October 1, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Okay, so now we move into the nineteenth century. It's unclear how long this nineteenth century lasted, whether it lasted from 1789 until 1914, or 1815 until 1914. Right? But it was a relatively long century. And yeah, John Stuart Mill was already twentieth century [correction: nineteenth century]. But Karl Marx did get into the middle of it; he was born in 1818 and died in '83. And I tried to find a picture of Marx, what you may not have seen, when he was still quite a good-looking guy. All right, so a few words about his family background. His father, Karl

Heinrich--no, no, Marx himself was born in 1818 in Trier, Germany, and his father was Heinrich Marx, who was actually a lawyer, quite a successful lawyer, but he was very much a man of enlightenment. He liked Voltaire and brought Marx up in the spirit of liberalism and enlightenment. Voltaire and Rousseau and John Stuart Mill, well these were the guiding lights of the time. The paternal grandfather was Marx Levy, who was a rabbi of Trier. But he died early, before Karl was born, and in fact his father converted to Lutheranism. It did not matter much. He was not really religious. He was quite secular and Marx, Karl Marx, brought up in a secular family. So I found you a picture of Trier in the early nineteenth century. If you look hard, you'll probably see somewhere young Karl walking around and shopping in the marketplace of Trier. All right, his education. He attended, of course, high school in Trier. Then in '35 he was admitted to the University of Bonn, where he studied Greek and Roman mythology and history--already became involved in student politics. But he really was bored in Bonn and was attracted to go to Berlin, which at that time was becoming a fascinating place. And he was attending the lectures of Bruno Bauer. Bruno Bauer was a disciple of Georg Hegel. Bauer belonged to a group of philosophers who called themselves "the Young Hegelians." They were the radicals of their time, and Marx already wanted to be a radical; he just did not know what kind of radical he will be or should be. In fact, he received his degree from the University of Jena. I think I cracked already this joke in the introductory lecture, because assumedly it was easier to get a degree from Jena than Berlin, and Marx was more interested already in philosophy and radicalism than legal studies. But he got his degree. So here is Georg Hegel, one of the most important philosophers of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. He was a German philosopher; and I will talk more when we get into Marx's own work. He basically saw human history as the unfolding of human consciousness, and he also characterized the human condition as in the state of alienation in which subject and object were separated from each other. These are big words. You will get comfortable with it as I'm lecturing on Marx. Because this is very important for Hegelian philosophy--also for Marxism, the distinction that there is the subject, yourself, who are observing, and the object, the others or the material world upon which you are reflecting. There is also another big word you will learn in the next two or three lectures, the word of totality; totality means when subject and object are together in one unity, that's what is meant to be totality. Now Hegel's idea was that subject and object became separated, and the separation of subject from object--when there is seen as worth outside of the subject as a

separate object--that is the state of alienation; alien, to be a stranger, a stranger in the world, because what is around you looks like strange, as different from you. Right? That's what he meant by alienation. But, you know, human consciousness is increasing, and as consciousness is increasing you will overcome this separation of subject and objects. Well, I'm sure it is not clear for the time being, but we'll be laboring on this in more detail with Marx, and hopefully it will become a little more clear. Bruno Bauer, he is this charismatic lecturer, the Young Hegelian whose lectures Marx attended. And there is no Marx and Marxism without Bruno Bauer; though most of his work is vitriolic criticism of Bruno Bauer. Well, Marx was quite a vitriolic guy. He liked to use overheated language. Occasionally it's very beautiful, the language he's using. Occasionally this is pretty outraging. Okay, what about Bauer and the Left Hegelians? As I said, you know, he kind of comes--he's a Hegel disciple, but he tries to move beyond Hegel and offer a critical theory of Hegel and the Hegelian system itself. These guys, the Young Hegelians--Bauer and his brother and others like Feuerbach, called themselves "the critical critics." This is a term which comes up in Marx's work sometimes, ironically usually. Why was it so? Because Hegel is seen in modern philosophy as the Founding Father of critical theory. You may have heard the word; if you studied philosophy I'm sure you have heard the word. What is critical theory? Well the essence of critical theory is that it believes that the major task of philosophy, to subject human consciousness to critical scrutiny--that there is some discrepancy between human consciousness and the human condition. Right? Our consciousness does not reflect properly the human condition, and therefore we have to criticize consciousness and get the right consciousness. Well who is actually the first of critical theorists? There is some controversy about this. There are some people who actually name Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher, as the first of critical theorists. Kant made a very interesting distinction between Ding an sich and Ding fr sich; things in themselves and things for themselves. And one important Kant idea was that all the ideas what we have in our mind are things for themselves, and they do not correspond to the world around us. The world around us is so rich that the concepts what we develop cannot completely fit. Therefore, in the act of cognition--when we try to understand something--we select from the world stuff which is important for us. This is why it's things for themselves. Right? We select, in the process of cognition, of learning, from the world elements what is useful for us. So, I mean, in some ways already Kant suggested that there is something problematic with the human consciousness. Right? We have to subject this

human consciousness to critical scrutiny, and to be aware that the unexhausted richness of the world and reality cannot be ever captured by the human mind. Now others do see really Georg Hegel as the real critical theorist, because now the central point is alienation. Right? Here the central point is that this is a big problem, and unlike Kant, who was an agnostic, he did not think we ever can develop concepts which capture the world. Right? Hegel believed that if you guys, you learn my philosophy, you will be all right. Right? Then you will overcome alienation. You will get the appropriate consciousness. Read my work. That was--you know, to simplify it a great deal. So anyway, he was seen as a kind of critical theorist. Now, the Young Hegelians were the critics of the critique. Right? They wanted to apply Hegel's critical method on Hegel's theory. They said, "Why on earth Georg, Uncle Georg, believes that his theory is the right one? Why don't we subject this system itself to the same critical scrutiny what Hegel suggests everything should be subjected to: critical scrutiny?" That is really the fundamental line of argument that greatly influenced Marx. Marx is, in many respects, a critical critic. Now this is another Young Hegelian, Ludwig Feuerbach, who had another very important impact on Marx. Feuerbach called his approach "naturalism." This is a term what Marx, the young Marx, also used for a while to describe himself. I think most of you in this room would think that Marx was a materialist, and eventually Marx used the term materialism, and even more specifically, historical materialism, to describe what he was doing. But in his early work he was shying away from materialism and he used the term naturalism. And naturalism really meant that you do not underestimate the importance of consciousness in spirit, just in the interaction with consciousness and spirit, and the nature itself,--you pay more attention to nature. Now Feuerbach's most important book--I don't think it is in English--Das Wesen des Christentums, The Essence of Christianity, he also suggested that rather than God creating man, man created the idea of God, and they created the idea of God--this is actually not all that far from Bruno Bauer, just a more radical position. Right? Because it wanted to project the desperation of alienation into the idea of God. So, I mean, while so to say Bauer was not ready to draw the, if I may use this term, the ontological conclusions of his criticism of Hegel. Feuerbach went into ontology. Right? Ontology means the origins of things, and he believed that in fact the spiritual world is a reflection of humans as such. That's why he called this naturalism, as distinct from idealism.

And we will talk about the distinction between idealism and materialism, or idealism as naturalism, which is very important for Marxism, and has been an important distinction in philosophy in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. I don't think in the last, you know, fifty or a hundred years that, you know, in philosophy there is too much discussion of idealism and materialism, though I don't think it is quite a useless discussion, who are idealist and who are materialist. And well, we will talk very briefly about this. Let me just foreshadow. Right? You know, you are an idealist when you think that the material world is coming from an idea. Right? If you believe that there was a transcendental being like God, and this transcendental being, by its act of will, created the world and created humans, then you are an idealist. If you believe that the ideas are explaining human behavior, then you are an idealist. Materialists are the ones who start from the material conditions and try to explain the ideas from the material conditions. Right? Feuerbach made this provocative statement that we invented God, rather than God creating us. Marx goes further and he will say, "Well you have ideas in your head. I can tell you why you have these ideas when I look at your material conditions." And he will later on say that, "When I understand your position in the class structure, and I understand your economic interests, then I will be able to tell you why you think the way you think." Right? This is the materialist's approach, when you explain ideas from the material conditions, versus the other way around. And this comes from Feuerbach. It is Feuerbach's inspiration. Right? So you bring together the critical theory of Hegel and the Young Hegelians, radical critical theory, and naturalism of Feuerbach, eventually pushing it further and to say, "Let's not fool around it. It is materialism all right." Okay? Now what about--let's continue with the life. '42, he moves to Cologne, the city of Cologne, and becomes a journalist for Rheinische Zeitung; eventually even becomes the editor of this journal. And what he's writing is just liberal journalism. He's not a radical yet. He's a bourgeois liberal. He is writing articles about, you know, the freedom of the press and civil liberties. He's writing stuff what John Stuart Mill would not object to at all. Right? Then '43, he marries--I again cracked this joke before--after a long engagement, Jenny von Westphalen, who comes from, you know, a noble family, a very high class family-- not a Jewish family, a high class family. Here is a picture of them too. Well he was graying fast. Right? Well he was running into some political troubles very soon. Now we will very quickly see some extraordinary years in Marx's intellectual development. 1843, '44, '45, just three years, it's quite extraordinary what is happening in Marx's mind and how far he goes. Already in '43 he is beginning to write some very important pieces of work. I

will talk about them in a minute, when we will get to Marx's work. One is called A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of the State, or Hegel's Philosophy of Law, or Rights; it's translated differently. And then he's writing a very provocative essay, "On the Jewish Question" in which he's beginning to distinguish himself from the Young Hegelians. Both of these pieces, especially "On the Jewish Question," are unacceptable to the German police and political establishment. So he had to leave Germany, and he escapes and he moves to Paris. And here it is, 38 Rue Vaneau. That's where he lived, and that's where Marx wrote his extraordinary unpublished manuscript, what is called The Paris Manuscript of 1844, but from which you have read something, and some of them are the jewel pieces of social science literature. Some of them are impenetrable, but some of them is quite penetrable and still blows people's minds. Okay, 1844 in Paris, he abandons this book, The Critique of Hegel but he wrote an Introduction, and I will talk about this later. This, in many ways, is quite an extraordinary piece of work. It's a wonderful piece of poetry, and he's sort of beginning to lay out his philosophy. And then in the summer of '44 he completes--no, doesn't complete, he abandons The Paris Manuscripts; and for good reasons. And we will talk about this, why he never published it and never finished it; though, I mean, it is quite a brilliant piece. And he meets a young man, Friedrich Engels, just twenty-four years of age, and became lifelong friends, and they're beginning to work together. They are writing this book, The Holy Family. I strongly recommend you do not read it. I have read it a number of times and suffered a lot. So I want to save you from suffering. But there are some very important things in The Holy Family; just the price you have to pay to find the jewel is very high. Okay, and then they write many other things together. The Communist Manifesto they write together. The German Ideology they write together; and many other things. Engels was a brilliant mind. In fact, he was a much more clearer analytic mind than Karl Marx, and he had a much better sense of empirical reality than Marx. Marx was a bit of an abstract guy. But Marx was really the genius. Right? Friedrich Engels was just a kind of Yale professor; you know, that Karl Marx was a sort of a genius really. '45, well even in Paris it is unbearable what they are doing, so they're kicked out from Paris, and then they go to Brussels. And here is Engels when they met. Well there is--to continue the work--a big change in Marx in 1945 [correction: 1845]--as some people say, the epistemological break. Until '45, until The Paris Manuscript, Marx is still in some ways a Hegelian. Now he's changing and he's becoming a materialist, and he coins the term historical

materialism to describe his position. One important piece is The Theses on Feuerbach. I make you to read that. I think it is a fantastic piece of work. He again did not publish it, and I will explain to you why, though it is brilliant, why he shied away and did not publish it; it is in tension with the main message what he tries to get through. And then '45, '46, together with Engels, they write again another unfinished manuscript, which was published only in 1904-and even in 1904 only partially--The German Ideology. Again, there are some extraordinary pieces in these incomplete manuscripts. Then comes the year of revolutions. February 22- 24 in '48, a violent revolution in France. They sit down with Engels and within a week they write The Manifesto of the Communist Party. They just tell what the revolution should be doing. Well this is in a pamphlet--a pamphlet with a lot of disturbing statements, but a pamphlet with some very insightful, very important social analysis as well. A piece of work which cannot be ignored. It can be hated. It was loved by many but usually now it is hated. But even if you hate it or love it, you better read it, and you pay attention to some of the very important statements. And what is extraordinary--this is a pretty long manuscript. They were writing like crazy. I mean, I think I'm a fast writer, but I could not do it in a week. And a reasonably polished piece, especially in comparison with his other work. Now he's expelled from Brussels, but he moves to revolutionary Paris, on March 5th already. But the revolution continues. March 13th, Vienna is on fire. Right? But you have to wait only two days and Buda and Pest in Hungary is on fire. The revolution is spreading all over in Europe. March 18th, it's already in Berlin. Paris, Vienna, Buda and Pest, Berlin, whole Europe is on fire. This is exactly what Marx was saying will be happening. Right there, it is happening indeed. So Marx and Engels return to Germany. Now they will carry out the torch of the revolution. Well it doesn't last for--that's a picture, a bad picture of some of the revolution in Paris. It was quite a bloody event. And here is The Communist Manifesto, the First Edition--end of February 1848, when it was printed fast and distributed widely. Well, you know, revolution doesn't last too long. In October '48, Austria carries out a counter-revolution. They oppress the revolution in Hungary. November the 8th there is a counter-revolutionary coup in Prussia. The revolution is depressed [correction: repressed]. And then December 1848--well this is not a violent counter-revolution, but the French go and vote on elections, and they elect a guy whose name is Louis Napoleon Bonaparte as president of France. It was a very stupid way to vote. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was the nephew of Napoleon. His father was Napoleon's brother, younger brother, and he was the king--he was

made king of the Netherlands until, of course, Napoleon fell and he was ousted, and Louis Napoleon Bonaparte grew up in Switzerland, in exile. Was not a particularly smart person and caused a lot of trouble in France. Well here he is when he was president. Later on he became an emperor of France; Napoleon III, he renamed himself, and kept causing trouble. Yeah. Well Marx returned to Paris briefly and was hoping, you know, the French eventually will come to their senses and overthrow this jerk. Well the French did not come to their senses. Right? It looks like the French occasionally do silly political things, like the Jacobins did. Electing Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was not a smart thing. But, you know, therefore they have to move to London, and that's where he spends the rest of his life. This is where he has another go at the big book he wants to write. It is called Grundrisse, and I will ask you--it will be a little sweating to read it, but I promise I ask you to read the most readable part of the Grundrisse. So if you will have troubles reading what I ask you to read, remember the rest would be much, much worse. Right? So you have to enjoy reading it. But I think it's--what I ask you to read is extremely important to understand who the real Marx is. Right? There are many faces of Karl Marx, and one of--one outcome most clearly in the Grundrisse. Then he writes finally the book what he always wanted to do, Das Kapital, in 1867. Then there is another revolution in France, the Commune, and this is a real proletarian revolution--very much following what Marx and Engels wrote in The Communist Manifesto. There are few instances in history when two people can claim, "We wrote it down, and here the masses put it into action." They did it in France. And then already in '64 Marx created a political organization, what he called International--International, The Workers' Organization; eventually we refer to this as the First International--with a Russian anarchist, whose name is Bakunin. '71, there is this proletarian revolution inspired by The Communist Manifesto. They proclaim a Commune in Paris. It's not all that different from Soviet Russia or Maoist China-the same ideas. Does not last too long. Right? In two weeks it is suppressed and overthrown. And Marx dissolves the International. There is a big fight between Bakunin and Marx. I think in this big fight Bakunin, who is actually not very smart, but in the--I think in the debate Bakunin is quite right about Marx's state-ism--too much belief in Marx what the government should do, and Bakunin is bottomup, right? Bakunin is an anarchist. He believes in the ordinary people and he wants to get rid of the state, rather than doing stuff by the state. Anyway, they dissolved the First International. Well the defeat of the Paris Commune was a very ugly affair. People were mass murdered without trial. Not very nice stuff. Though, I mean, the Paris Commune--of course,

you know, if you, as the anarchists are saying, "Well, if you want to have scrambled eggs, you have to break a couple of eggs." Right? So if you have a revolution, occasionally you shoot. Right? Well, there was shooting during the Commune--there was a lot of shooting after the Commune. Right? Well after the Commune, we have a conservative epoch in Europe. Bismarck in Germany-right?--the Iron Chancellor. Queen Victoria--right?--ethical conservativism. Kaiser Franz Joseph, the Blue Danube. Right? The Operetta. Right? But a very conservative guy. I have so many nice anecdotes about him. Too bad the course doesn't last two semesters because I could entertain you with great stories about Kaiser Franz Joseph. Big trouble the guy. He primarily caused the First World War, out of a completely stupid action, and caused the deaths of millions of people in a bloody, terrible, stupid war. Well but there is no room in this conservative time for revolution. Right? Revolutionary Marxism. Marx dies in desperation. Actually if you read the later work, his mind is gradually disintegrating. And he's buried together with Jenny in London Highgate Cemetery. There was just a piece in New York Review of Books on Highgate Cemetery--also names the Tomb of Karl Marx, which stands there, and Marxists go. Now a postscript well they create a Second International, after his death. Engels created it. It eventually became what we call a Social Democratic International. It still exists. Social Democratic parties occasionally meet on an international meeting. For awhile, when the Democratic Party was a kind of JFK liberal party, even the American Democratic Party sent observers to the Second International meetings. Right? Bobby Kennedy was kind of very sympathetic to the Second International--were kind of considering should not the Democratic Party join the Social Democratic International Movement? [Perhaps Professor Szelnyi can clarify in the transcript--he says that JFK and RFK were involved with the Second International, but then he says that the Communist Revolution created the Third International and it was broken up after WWII. Did the Second International survive this and continue into the Kennedy era in the 1960s? 1917, there is a Communist revolution in Russia. In 1919, they say, "Second International, this really sucks. This is not about revolution. This is about reform. We need a real revolutionary organization." They create the Third International or Communist International, which lasts until the Second World War, when Russia, Soviet Russia, needs the help of the United States to defeat militarily Germany, and the U.S. said, "All right, but you dissolve the International." So they did dissolve the International. There is actually a Fourth International-I don't have time really to talk about this--created by Leon Trotsky. All right, so that's about the life of one of our major authors, Karl Marx.

And let me go on and talk about his theory of alienation. And I have, my goodness, twelve minutes to do that, though I could spend in fact a semester on this. Well but let me try to economize with my time, and I'll just very briefly rush through what is leading to The Paris Manuscript and the theory of alienation. And I really have to talk about alienation, so I will skip a lot of stuff leading to the alienation. As I said, Hegel is the point of departure for Marx's theory of alienation. But there is a kind of intellectual project for the young Marx. As I said, he writes--tries to write this book, a critique of Hegel's philosophy of right. In this book Hegel suggested that there is a--the civil servants constitute a universal class. It is a critique of the French Revolution and the bourgeois society in which Hegel felt the workers and the capitalists are representing particularistic interests, and order can be brought into this only by civil servants, by the government, who represents the universal point of view. And Marx criticizes this book. Then he writes "On the Jewish Question" , where he said, "Well the state bureaucrats are not universal, but we need a universal standpoint, we need universal emancipation, as such." That's the point of view. Then he writes this wonderful piece, Introduction to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, and he said, "But who will carry out this universal point of view?" And it is the introduction for the first time in '44, January, and he said, "The proletariat." But people say, "Why the proletariat? Goodness gracious." That's when The Paris Manuscript comes in. He said, "The proletariat, because the proletariat is the ultimate of alienation, and because they are alienated, they have the interest to overcome alienation." Well I think I just have to rush through. I will put this stuff on the internet, but I really don't have time to get into any detail. I want to get, in the last few minutes, into The Paris Manuscripts. And this is the structure of The Paris Manuscript of 1844. You can see the line of argument, how he's developing his argument. What is really interesting from The Paris Manuscripts is the first manuscript, which is twenty-seven pages. It is on wages, profits and rent, and culminates with the idea of alienation. Again, unfortunately I don't have more time to work more on it. Especially Section IV is crucially important. And the second and the third manuscripts are of lesser important. Now the major themes: wage, profit and rent, and private ownership, they all culminate in alienation. This is a re-interpretation of Hegel. Alienation does not come from ideas, it comes out of material conditions of the nature of capitalist economy. As I said, he does not have the notion of capitalism. It comes out of the nature of commodity producing commercial society. Right? That's where alienation is coming from, rather than ideas, and the problem can only be solved if you fix the problems of commodity producing societies.

And then he identifies four characteristics of alienation. And I will talk to this. Alienation is from the object of production. The second is alienation from the act of production. Then alienation from species being; again, a very big word--Gattungswesen, in German. What makes us human, what makes us distinct from animals, that's what the notion species being refers to. And finally alienation from fellow man. Well I have seven minutes to labor on this, so let me do that. Okay, as I said he reinterprets Hegel's alienation. Hegel wanted to overcome alienation in thought. Alienation was a problem of the state of consciousness. Marx wants to ground the theory in material practices. Right? And when emerges alienation? When labor is becoming a commodity and when profit drives the economy; that's when we enter the stage of alienation and private property emerges. Well I'll just leave this section out, and let me speak to the four dimensions of alienation in the next six or seven minutes. So the first point is there is in--you know, we are talking about commodity producing commercial societies, to put it with Adam Smith. Right? Or Marx will call it later on--it will take him one more year to figure out what is really the nature of the society he's talking about. But already in The German Ideology, as we will see it Tuesday or Thursday, he coins the term the capitalist mode of production. So in the capitalist mode of production, in a commodity producing society, the object which labor produces, labor's product, confronts the workers as something alien from him, as a power alien of the producer. Right? Under these conditions, this realization of labor appears as the loss of realization of the worker. In sharp contrast with petty commodity production, the work of the artisan where the work what you produce is part of your own life; you identify with the part what you produce. Right? You are a shoe-maker, you are producing a beautiful shoe. Right? You are proud of the shoe. You go to the church Sunday and you saw a nice lady walking in these beautiful shoes, and you proudly say, "This is my shoe." Right? Then you are not alienated. Right? When you are working on the production line and you are mass producing, you know, Toyota Camry, you don't know what you produce. Right? It's an alien object from you. You put a little bit of work into the product, and the product is not you any longer; it is something which is alien from you. Well, of course, not all work is necessarily alienated. You know if you are an artist, if you are a scholar, you identify the work and you have copyright for the work what you produce. But ordinary workers usually do not have a copyright; you know they cannot license the work what they produce. It becomes alien from them. That's the point. Right? The product.

Well then you are also becoming alien in the act of production. He said because labor is external to the worker--there are different points in this--external to the worker; it does not belong to his intrinsic nature. In his work he does not affirm himself but denies himself--does not freely develop itself. You know, you say, "Well it's already 4:45. I have only fifteen more minutes to go and then I am free." Right? Life begins when work ends. Right? You can see it. You go to the supermarket and the cashier can hardly wait, you know, to get out of here. I was trying to buy last night a little beer, and it was 8:45 and the cashier said, "Sorry, I cannot sell it to you." I said, "Why not? Until 9:00." She said, "It's not nine yet?" She wanted to get out of there. Right? So it's alienated from the process of production. Right? And labor is not voluntary but forced. Right? Well forced, not legally. You can starve. Right? But if you don't want to starve and you want to have a place, a roof over your head, you have to work. So it is forced economically. And so it is not--it is, here is the--and your activity belongs to somebody else. It's somebody else, you know, who commands you, who is the boss, who tells you what to do, and then you shut up. Right? And this is why, you know, in the act of production you have alienation. The third one is that you are alienated from your species being, of your human being. And now Marx has a theory of man in nature. Right? What is man in natural conditions? What makes us man as distinct from animal? There are very different answers you can give. Well Schiller, the German poet said, "What makes us humans? That we know how to play." Right? Play makes us human. Marx said what makes us human, that we work. Labor, that we transform the material world to meet our human needs, with a plan in our head, that's what makes us human. There are animals which kind of work, like bees, but they don't work with a plan. There are only humans who have an idea about my house we'll build, and then you build the house as you had the idea about it. That is the essence of human beings. And he said the problem is that we, in a commodity producing society, we are alienated from labor, what makes us human. So we are alienated from our very human essence. That's the most horrifying thing for Marx, in a commodity producing society. Right? And then finally we are alienated from our fellow man. This is probably the deepest idea in the whole theory; namely, that we're beginning to treat each others as object. Right? As we are entering the world of commodity production, profit maximization, self-interested individuals maximizing utility and thinking instrumentally around the world. What are the most least expensive means which gets us the cheapest to this end? When we're beginning to treat each others as instruments. Right? And he said this is the worst alienation. Which is new, right? It has--this is very important to see in Marx's theory of alienation. It's not a general

condition of humankind, as Hegel thought it. Alienation is emerging in modernity. It does not have the term capitalism yet, or the capitalist mode of production. This is--the characteristics of modernity and modern industrial and urban life, that we are not interacting with each other as human beings, in an all-sided personal relationships, but we tend to treat each others as objects. Right? We treat the other person as a sex object. Right? The erotic complex relationship is reduced to a brutal act of sex. Right? We treat each other as an instrument to reach an end. Right? We call the others only when we need that person for something. Right? We act out of simply self-interest in interacting with the others. We lack compassion. Right? We lack love. Right? We lack sympathy. Right? You know, he probably did not read his Adam Smith carefully enough. Right? He has not been reading much Smith until '44. This is where he's beginning to read Smith very carefully, around this time, in '44. Anyway, you see the point what he is making. And I think what Marx describes in alienation, particularly alienation from fellow human beings, is something what probably some people in this room can respond to, and to say, "Well yes, I did experience that. I have been treated as an object. When I go to the admission office, occasionally an administrator treats me like a piece of paper." Right? That's when you are alienated, when you're becoming an object rather than a human being. So that's in a nutshell the theory of alienation. The rest will be up on the internet, and you may want to dig into the whole intellectual development which brings you to the peak of what we call the young Marx; Marx, the Hegelian Marx, who is not a materialist yet, not a historical materialist. He does not have the idea of exploitation. He does not have the idea of the capitalist mode of production yet. All right. Thank you.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 10 Transcript October 6, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Well I would like to get started. Good morning. In the discussion section I realized I sort of screwed my last lecture. It didn't come quite clearly through; either Hegel or Marx's theory of alienation. So I would like to come back to the theory of alienation and how Marx gets to The Paris Manuscripts, before we get into historical materialism. And let me just make two introductory comments about this. One important point I tried to make is you have to be--I think one purpose of my lectures in Marx is to alert you that there

were two Marx's, not just one, and you are likely to know only about one Marx. Right? This is Marx, who had the theory of class struggle and the theory of exploitation--right?--and who was a theorist of Communism. But you may know very little about Marx, the idealist, the Hegelian, the humanist, whose central idea was the notion of alienation. Right? Whose major concern was about the human conditions under modernity and wanted to overcome it. And, you know, these two very different Marx's appeal to very different audiences. In fact, the first Marx--the humanist, the Hegelian, the idealist--was almost forgotten for a very long time, and was rediscovered by the 1960s onwards, generally. So it's very important to see that most likely that what you heard about Marx--and I suppose most of you have never read any text from Marx--is a biased view. You only know one Marx and not both. And my point is to try to introduce you to the complexity, that you meet both Karl Marx. Right? The second point is that--what I found frustrating in the discussion section yesterday, which was one of the worst I did in the last couple of years--not ever in my life I did even worse discussion sections, but this was real bad--that, you know, the importance and the significance of Marx's theory of alienation did not come through. And I obviously did a very bad job, because there are very few texts, written in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which are so powerful and so influential, and so broadly influential, on theories of the twentieth century, than exactly this text on alienation. You can think about literature-right?--and you can see the extraordinary impact of the idea of alienation in literature. Some of you may have read Albert Camus, the French novelist--The Stranger. This is right out of the theory of alienation. You may be familiar with Franz Kafka, right? There you go. That's the sense of alienation. You may have watched ever the play, wonderful play, of Henrik Ibsen, Peer Gynt. That's about alienation. Right? So in the twentieth century literature, we are full with the senses of alienation. And so is twentieth century social theory. There is no twentieth century social theory without the theory of alienation. By the way, it's interesting, because The Paris Manuscript, for the first time, was published only in 1931. Nevertheless, the idea was already beginning to creep in earlier. Smart people read the theory of alienation in Marx earlier; Georg Lukcs, for instance. And then the Frankfurt School. There is no Adorno, there is no Horkheimer, there is no Marcuse, without the theory of alienation. And I can go even further. There is no cultural theory without the theory of alienation. There is no Bauman, there is no Kolakowski, without the theory of alienation. This is a very important idea. So I have to come back to this and to try to show you how he arrives at this point, and why he abandons it--why the second Marx is emerging. And then we get, starting with the second

Marx, the first step towards the second Marx is the "Theses on Feuerbach," what I want to talk about today. And I'll try to economize with my time, right? Right? I have to learn from Adam Smith--right?--to be more utilitarian and to make sure that means and ends do match with each other. Okay, let's come back to Hegel and Hegel's theory of alienation. Because I don't think--from the discussion section my sense was I did not make it clear enough, what Hegel's theory is. And well let me try to labor on this. As I said, you know, he was an idealist, and I hope I explained it to the extent it is necessary. I will come back to this when I will be talking about the "Theses on Feuerbach" and The German Ideology. But he really thought that somehow consciousness precedes material existence, and that's what made him into an idealist. How religious he was I actually don't know. This is not a religious, not a theological proposition. Right? The idea is that before the physical world existed, there has been an absolute spirit. Right? At the origin of the world, there is an absolute spirit existing, and that exists in the material world as such. And then his central idea is that you can describe the history of the universe as a problem of alienation, as a problem of gradual separation, as I said, from subject and object. This is a very important idea, and we will have to deal with this in Marx. And even if you are dealing with twentieth century theories, critical theory, this is a central notion of, you know, subject and object. Let me try to labor on this a minute. And I have to do it on the blackboard. So Hegel's fundamental idea is that when you have the absolute spirit--right?--and this is not a personal God but just the idea. Here this is a situation of totality. The absolute spirit is at the same time subject and object, united in itself. Right? And that's what Hegel calls totality. And there's the term totality being used later on in critical theory. And we are saying we are searching for totality, we are searching for the unity of subject and object. Well in Hegel's, the second stage is that subject and object are divided from each other. [Professor writes on blackboard] There is the material world without consciousness, and consciousness becomes absolute consciousness because it's kind of projected the material world out of itself. Right? And this is the--this is the situation of alienation. Object becomes separate. Then, as human beings emerge, subject and object beginning to merge. Right? Consciousness emerges. Right? Consciousness--right? These are subject--this is you--and object are the conditions of your life. Right? Another person you are interacting with is an object of your interaction. Or the conditions of your life. Right? The objective conditions. This room. At Yale University the construction which is going out there--right?--is our

objective conditions. Right? And you are the subject who are reflecting on it. But because you are gaining some consciousness, you are beginning to conquer the objective conditions of your life. And what he's suggesting, that alienation will overcome when your subject will be able to control the objective conditions of your life. Right? Where your consciousness is adequate to your existence. Right? When you are the master of your life, you are a master of your conditions. It is not the conditions which rule you, but you are the master of the conditions. Right? That is the key idea in Hegel. And Marx is very much following this idea. I mean, he of course eliminates the whole idea of absolute spirit. Right? He doesn't want to deal with the idea of absolute spirit. For him this is too speculative. He's also bothered by the idea that you can overcome the problem of alienation simply by thought. Right? Marx's project is to bring this whole idea of alienation down to earth, to everyday experience, to your experience and your experience of, I would use the term, modernity, until 1944 [correction: 1844]. Marx does not have a concept of capitalism or capitalist mode of production. Right? He even just vaguely thinks about private ownership. He's really trying to conceptualize modernity, modern industrial urban life, as distinct from earlier communal life--the life what we had in more intimate communities, peasants of the villages or whatever. Right? He tries to conceptualize this. He sees this as a progress, modernity as a progress. But we have to pay a heavy price for it, and the price what we pay for this modernity is the separation of subject and object. Right? The peasant in a village was not separated from the objective conditions of his existence. It was united with the objective conditions. It was bound to the earth. Right? Even the slaves were not separated from the objective conditions of their existence. They were treated as objects. Right? There was no subject separated from the object. So the unique--this is Marx, this is not Hegel anymore--the unique feature of alienation, that you have this separation from subject and object, in modern conditions. Right? And I think this is why Marx's theory of alienation survived Marx's theory of exploitation. That the young Marx survived the old Marx; the first Marx survived the second Marx. Because we can all relate more if you have a good lecturer, and who brings more effectively to you what he's getting at. You can relate more, you can say much more, "Oh yeah, I feel alienated in this class." Right? "That makes no sense to me." Right? "This doesn't make any sense to my life, and I have to sit there because I'm a sociology major and I have to take this bloody class." Right? Then you are alienated. Right? And this is when you will--that's what

you will say. Right? "I am alienated because I have to do this nonsense because they force me to do so." Then you are alienated. This is exactly what Marx is getting at. Right? Well in a way it is your choice. Right? You declared a sociology major. Right? But then you are forced to do stuff what you don't really want to do. So it doesn't mean that you are not free. You are free, but within your freedom you are alienated because you don't control your conditions, and it looks like that within your freedom, within your free choice, you are forced to do stuff. Right? This is what Marx is trying to get at. You think you are free, you think you are equal with others, and you are really not free. Because the objective conditions, what you created for yourself--right? You got into trouble. Right? Who forced you to be a sociology major? Nobody. And then you are in the trouble that you have to do-- take certain hurdles. But you feel alienated and you don't feel that your whole personality is being developed. Right? To put it with John Stuart Mill, you don't feel self-development. Then you are alienated, unduly so. Right? Is that a bit coming closer to it? Makes more sense? All right. Now let me therefore also show you how Marx gets to it. I think this is very important. And I skipped all of this stuff because I was trying to get very quickly--I was trying to get too quickly--to the notion, Marx's theory of alienation. And now I would like to correct this. And I already foreshadowed in my last lecture that these are formidable years for Marx, 1843 and 1844. In two years his intellectual development is quite extraordinary. Let me follow you through of these intellectual developments. In the summer of 1843, he writes this book, Contributions to a Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right; or Hegel's Philosophy of Law. Well Hegel has gone through a long development intellectually. He started out as a radical, an admirer of the French Revolution, and as he was getting older he was becoming more and more conservative and was becoming concerned about the consequences of the French Revolution. And as he became, you know, more conservative, he was--he said, "Well what is happening with the French after the French Revolution is not really what I wanted. Because now the French Revolution is actually splitting the society in two classes, capital and labor." It's not exactly the terminology what he means, but that's what Hegel is getting at in The Philosophy of Right. "And who can tell who is right and who is wrong? They are in conflict with each other. The employers or the owners want something, and the workers want something else. They both represent particularistic interests. But where is the universalistic interests?" So asked Hegel. There must be some universal justice. To put it in the terminology we used in this course before, there must be something like common good, which brings capital and labor together. Where will this common good come from? And in The Philosophy of Right he offers an interesting theory. He said it will

come from the government, it comes from the state. The state should represent the universal instance. And then he said, "Well, you know, the society, modern bourgeois society which emerged as a result of the French Revolution, is divided into these particularistic classes. But we need a universal agent, a universal class, which represents the common good, and this must be the government, this must be the class of civil servants." And in the book,Philosophy of Right--which is his kind of last major book, writes it not long before he dies--he argues these are the civil servants who constitute the universal class. Now this is not a silly idea. We do think about it this way. And yes, I mean, he builds in many respects, in a more sophisticated way, on Locke and Rousseau and the idea of general will, particularly in Rousseau. Right? And this is the state which should represent the general will. Right? And we also occasionally think about it this way. Right? There are all these conflicts around this country, and we expect the government to express the universal interest, to innervate the general will. We expect occasionally the federal government to do that, and the federal government occasionally does it. You have read about the Civil Rights Movement. I mean, who was the agency which made sure that the states actually obey the laws and integrates the schools? It was the federal government. Right? It was Bobby Kennedy who went down and made sure that the southern states do follow the rules. Right? We expected the government to express the universal interest. Right? So it's not silly. But Marx, in a way, said, "Well, that's not that simple. Hegel is nave about the government." And he said, "Well the government is not that non-partial as we would like it to be." Right? If you are rich, you have more influence on what the government does, rather when you are poor. Right? There are lobbyists in Washington DC, and you probably have very little leverage on these lobbyists. Big business has a lot of leverage on these lobbyists. Right? And they, of course, have a great deal of pressure on what the legislature will do. Just follow what is happening with the healthcare legislation. Well you can call your congressman and you can send emails, you know, and can send letters, and ask them to do something. But believe me, when the pharmaceutical industry spends a lot of money and tells a senator, you know, "Unless you vote this way or that way, we probably may not be able to support your next electoral campaign"--right?--then it will make more impact than your individual email. Right? Not that you should not send individual emails. Send it. Right? Be involved. But be aware that the government is sent to be more responsible for big business. "So", he said, "How can it be universal class?" That's really the point what he's making in The Philosophy of Right. Right? The state is not universal. It pretends to be universal. It has to pretend to be universal in order to be legitimate, but really it is not universal. And the civil

servants are, of course, not a universal class. Occasionally they are quite corrupt. Right? Not in the United States, of course, but in some countries I can think of civil servants are corrupt. Right? You know, and then they are offered, you know, a free seat, you know, on a private jet, they accept it. And then they accepted it, they do something for the owner of that private jet. Right? So there are some civil servants who are not all that innocent--right?--and they can be influenced. So it is not all that universal class. They are--not all civil servants are angels. Right? Some of them are, some of them are not. In fact, he concludes the unfinished book, "that really the problem is that we don't have universal suffrage"; writes he in 1843. And he said, "Let's have universal suffrage, and then if we in free elections universally elect the representatives, the problem will be gone." As we know, he was not quite right. Right? We have all equal vote but we do not have all equal voice. Right? I think that's--but Marx here is still a bourgeois liberal; as of the summer of 1843 believes the problem will be solved. Now let me rush through and show you the kind of intellectual development--and I briefly pointed out to this. These are the three important steps which follows this abandoned manuscript. He now enters the road of radicalization, moves away from Hegel, and tries to carve out his own intellectual and political project. And he writes the paper "On the Jewish Question" in which he says, "Well Hegel is right. We need something universal. We should not allow society just to be the struggle of particularistic interests." Right? This is in a way against Adam Smith's utilitarianism. It's not enough that individuals fight each others' interests out, and that will end up to a universal good. We need some universal good to be achieved, and it will not simply achieved by particularistic interests followed. That is Marx's point. But then he writes an introduction to the Critique-- Contributions to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right. And in this introduction he said, "Well, we need something; universal emancipation. But who will bring universal emancipation to humankind?" Right? He's looking for an agent who can carry this out. And in the introduction, he said, "This will be the proletariat." Well you may say now he's entering the wrong road--right?--and he's entering a very--he's basically painting himself in the corner, where he will be for the rest of his life, trying to show that indeed the proletariat will emancipate us all, and will create a good society as such. But people, when they are reading the introduction--and I will give you a few citations from it because it's a beautiful piece of work. In many ways it is wonderful poetry. He has some extraordinary framing of the problem.

But then, you know, his critics said, "What a nonsense." You know? "Why on earth the proletariat? As we all know, the workers are dumb. I mean, you are saying that we, the critical philosophers, we cannot emancipate humankind? But you think that these ordinary workers, with alienated consciousness, they will bring us an unalienated world? How comes? What nonsense is this?" So that's when he writes The Paris Manuscripts, and tries to now bring the whole idea of alienation down to earth, to fill it with some economic content. That's why now he tries to relate it to commodity production, and make the claim that though in modern society everybody's alienated, but they are only the workers who are fully alienated, and their interest is to overcome the alienation. That's what--this is why he tries to argue that alienation will bring the working class to emancipate humankind; that is the project. Of course, he never publishes the book, because after he wrote it down, he said, "Well"--I suppose he said, "Well, this is quite nicely written. I have a couple of good ideas. But nobody will believe me." Right? "The working class will not go on the barricades and die because I am telling them that they are alienated." Right? "They don't care about alienation. I have to come up some-- some better reason, you know, why the working class will revolt." And that's the end of the young Marx. And now he's beginning to read Adam Smith and Ricardo and political economy. Right? And he's beginning to develop his theory of exploitation. This is the young or mature Marx, and we will talk about him very briefly. Now just a couple of ideas here. Right? What about "On the Jewish Question", what is at stake? Bruno Bauer wrote a paper on the origins of anti-Semitism, and he said, "We have anti-Semitism in Germany because the state is Christian, and as long as the state is Christian it will discriminate against the Jews. So the solution is to separate the state and the church, to have political emancipation. Right? And if we have political emancipation, we abolish anti-Semitism." Now Marx takes his point here and he said, "Look, this guy is completely wrong. Look at the United States, the church and the state are separated, and in the nineteenth century there was quite a bit of anti-Semitism in the United States." Not only in the nineteenth century. In this very institution, in the 1920s and '30s, there was a lot of anti-Semitism. There's a wonderful sociologist, Jeremy Karabel, who wrote a great book about admission policies of Ivy League universities in the 1920s, and he was able to prove that Ivy League universities, including Yale, actually applied a quota. They never admitted more Jews to Yale than the average Jewish population in the United States. Believe it or not. It was never official policy but it was practiced all the time. So, I mean, there was anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism can exist if the state and church are separated, if the state is supposed to be secular.

And Marx said, "Where does come like racism come from?" He said it comes from, what he said, civil society. He doesn't have the notion of capitalism. He said this is rooted in people's everyday experience and interest. Right? Anti-Semitism comes from civil society because some people feel threatened by the Jews. Why is there, you know, anti-African American feelings? Because some people feel threatened by African Americans. Right? And this is why there is racism. So you have to fix the problems in civil society. The problem is in civil society, not in the state. Therefore what you need is universal emancipation. That's the bottom line of "On the Jewish Question." Is that reasonably clear? Okay, then let's go further. And this is the Introduction. Well there are some wonderful stuff in this. It's more poetry than--it is certainly not social science. I would say more poetry, but very forcefully done. Well he said, "What we have to do is to move beyond Feuerbach, who simply sort of contemplated on the situations." And he said, "Once the holy form of human selfestrangement has been unmasked"--that's what Feuerbach did. Right? He did show that alienation is our--we're projecting our alienation by creating God. Right? He said, "Now the task is to unmask self-estrangement or alienation in its unholy form." Right? In the everyday life--in your everyday experience--especially in your economic activities. That is the point what he tries to make. Then he goes further and he says, "Well the Young Hegelians said 'Be a critical critic; criticize the Hegelian theory'." And I think this is a fantastic sentence; again, it's beautiful poetry. Very dangerous and let a lot of trouble in history. In a way I wish he would not have written it down. But I love that he did write it down, because it's a beautiful sentence. "The weapon of criticism cannot replace the criticism by weapons." Right? Well it's not enough to be critical in thought. You have to be critical in action. Right? You have to act on it. Just do not just talk. Do something about it. That's what it says. Well I think this is, you know, one of the strongest sentences I have read in social science literature. Right? "The weapon of criticism cannot replace the criticism by weapons." Well this is also a great sentence. "Theory becomes a material force as soon as it has grabbed the masses--gripped the masses. Theory is capable of gripping the masses as soon as it demonstrates ad hominem." Woo. That's quite something. Right? What he--right? He said, "Well the question is what is a good theory, what will help you emancipate yourself? Good, the essence of good theory, that it grabs you, it grips you." Right? When you say, "Uh-huh, it did hit me." This is theory. Right? But it can only be when it is ad hominem, when it addresses your problems. Right? A theory, what you are lost, you don't know why it is relevant for your life, is no good.

I would even go as far, the theory which is boring is bad theory. What you need is fascinating theory. You have to be fascinated. You have to be shocked. Right? You have to say, "Yes, now I will live differently after I--this theory I understood." Right? It has to move you. That's the good theory. I think that's a wonderful point, and very powerfully done. And then he said, "Well, what--well we say that the theory has to grab the masses, but what kind of masses? Whom? Who is our audience?" Well, and he says, "In order to carry out a revolutionary change." It's not enough to have a theory, not enough to have ideas. "You may need", he said--it's very problematic but very crucial to understand the downside, the bad side of Marxism--"a passive element, a material base." Right? As you see, no matter how much Marx glorifies the working class, he thinks about them as a passive element. Right? Simply as a material base. And that is--who is that? The proletariat. And why? "Because it has nothing to lose but its chains. It has a universal character, and this is why it is a universal class." And, you know, in 1843, it may have been quite right. The working class probably had little else to lose but its chains. Certainly in 2009 it's usually not true. The working class has much more to lose than its chains. Right? It has probably its own nice suburban house. They probably own two cars. They probably even have some pension fund, on the stock exchange. Even ordinary workers check out what the Dow Jones did yesterday, because it affects the impact. But in his times it was probably true. So this is how he gets to the problem. It is the proletariat which will be the universal class. And now you are already familiar with The Paris Manuscript, and I will not talk about this. That's why he wants to show that the proletariat is the most alienated. And that makes-follows logically. I think it damages, to some extent, the theory of alienation, because it narrows it too much down. The focus is too much down on the working class, and in a way too much down on working class, working on industrial production in firms. But really, the message of alienation is much broader. It tries to convey you some general experience of modern life where we do not feel at home. This is the big framing of the problem in the early twentieth century. Homelessness, the homeless mind; that we feel homeless in this world, searching for a home. That's the sense of alienation. That's what Marx tried to capture here; in a way, unfortunately, mis-specified. Too much emphasis on workers, just because he's beginning to have this political project and wants to find a revolutionary class. And, you know, he abandons it. "This is ridiculous, you know. I have to put my show together." And then he does; beginning to develop what he calls historical materialism. So let's get into that one. And I have ten minutes to do it, and that's all right. If necessary I will come back to this.

So Marx is developing what he calls historical materialism. And I will suggest it is making--it is done in two steps. First, he's emphasizing dialectics in his criticism of Feuerbach. Feuerbach is a materialist all right, but he's a mechanical materialist, and Marx wants to bring dynamics in his materialism. And he will argue that this has to--he historically specified material force. And this is what he will do in The German Ideology. But what is dialectical? I don't want to waste time on this. I want to get straight into "The Theses on Feuerbach", which is a very short text, but very deep. So here are the eleven Theses of Feuerbach, on "Theses on Feuerbach." He tries to carve out what his new approach will be. And these are the eleven pieces--very short. He said Feuerbach's materialism was simply reflective. It actually meant subject and object remained separated, and the subject reflected on the object outside of the subject, dominating the actions of the subject. But it is assumed that there are objective conditions irrespective from the subject, and you only reflect on the subjective conditions. And he said, "Well in the new materialism truth is a practical question." And I will talk about this in a minute. It means you have to bring, by human practice, subject and object together. You have to change the objective conditions of your life. That's, you know, not a passive agent, not overdetermination. Marx is always read as a determinist. No. As I will say, Marx's philosophy is a philosophy of praxis; praxis, practical activity is a key of Marx's theory. Man- man changes circumstances. And how? We will elaborate on this. But, you know, we get--you know, we were born in certain conditions, but we can change it. Right? Then, but in order to change really the--we can't act alone. We have to cooperate. That's thesis four. He said that Hegel, he thought it can be done in thinking. No. Feuerbach thought we can do it in contemplation. Marx said, "No, it can be only done by social practices." V, VI. Well old materialism was looking at the individual. Right? Now I will look at the collective, social relations--relational, what I'm suggesting is relational. Well religion is also a social product; this is a kind of by the way. Social life is practical, follows from what we have said. Well contemplation implies isolated individuals in society. Well we offer a view of socialized humanity, that we all act together and there's collective action, which brings change. And then the most controversial and most important one. So far the philosophers have interpreted the world. Now the point is to change it. Right? Good theory is not just describes, it gives you a prescription what to do about your life. That's the kind of theory what we want.

That's the "Theses on Feuerbach." Just eleven sentences basically. Great sentences. Sort of all materialism is reflective. Right? "The chief defect of Feuerbach is that things", he said--the German term isGegenstand--"is reality, sensuousness"--feeling through our senses, right?--"is considered only in the form of the object"; that we sense the objects outside of our contemplation. But sensuousness is not perceived as human action, activity. Right? We simply feel the stuff but we don't do anything about that. He said, "Sensuous activity is what I emphasize." Well new materialism. This is, you know, one of the most important sentences Marx wrote down. "Well the question whether objective truths can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory, but it is a practical question. Man must prove truth that this worldliness of his thinking in practice." Right? It's not a speculative thing, whether a question of truth. "The test of the pudding is in the eating"; he says elsewhere. The Italian Marxist philosopher, Antonio Gramsci, who died in the prison of Mussolini, called Marxism "the philosophy of praxis." That's the essence of Marxism, that the truth is not the subject reflecting on the object, but the interaction of the subject between the object. Right? That the subject changes the object in order to meet the need of the subject. That's the major point--the separation of subject and object. The assumption that there are objective conditions which are outside of our possible action, is what later Marxists will call positivism. Marxism is not positivist. It believes that we can change the world, rather than just to accept the world. Right? Well I don't have to talk-- don't have enough time to talk about Gramsci. Just one word: in fact he called Marxism as a philosophy of praxis, because he was writing his major work in the prison of Mussolini, and was smuggling this book out they called The Prison Notebooks. It was smuggled out before he died. And he knew that, you know, the prison guards will read it. So he did not want to write down the term Marxism. When he meant Marxism, he wrote it 'the philosophy of praxis'. And of course the stupid Fascist guards did not know what on earth philosophy of praxis is. So they did not know he was writing about Marxism. But I think he got a very important point. This is indeed an important feature of Marxism. Well man changes circumstances. Well circumstances are changed by man. And this is again an important sentence. "The educator must himself be educated." And those of you in my discussion section yesterday, this is what you did: you educated the educator. I realized I did not get, you know, the theory of alienation through quite effectively. So I went back and corrected my course. Right? "The educators must be educated." Right? I think it's a great sentence.

Well, and one needs to discover the role of the masses. Now that's very much Marx's political project, coming in. But an important project. Right? That you cannot do by yourself. Right? If you want to achieve something, you have to cooperate. You know? You need cooperation with others. Right? Otherwise nothing can be achieved. Well Hegel's starting point was abstract thinking. Feuerbach, he's a materialist, he thinks what is real is what we can grasp with our senses. Marx said, "No. This is sensuous practical activity." It has to be sensuous, but it has to be practical. This is something what Jrgen Habermas loved, the German philosopher. He said, "This is the real Marx, who sees the essence of all sensuous human activity being the core." Later Marx is a reductionist, because he reduces sensuous activity to economic activity. Here Marx perceives all sensuous activity, including human interaction between us, including sexual interaction among us, as a sensuous activity. Right? As a material reality. There is not so much conflict between Marx and Freud as it appears. Now let me go further. VI. Old materialism looks at the individual. Right? And this is Marx's big obsession. The problem with modernity is the isolated bourgeois individual, and we have to overcome this isolated individual, and we have to engage each other in human interaction. He is a communitarian, right? He is a communist, right? He does not want to have isolated individuals, right? He wants human interaction. Well I'll skip this one: religion is also a social product. Social life is practical; this is again quite obvious, and I can probably skip this one. And here again, you know, the isolated individual; that's the problem, that you do not see that really what we can achieve is always interacting with each other, building on each other. A single individual will not change anything. Well, and therefore we stand for socialized humanity. The standpoint of old materialism is civil society, and the isolated bourgeois individual in civil society, and we are talking about a human society, where we are brothers and sisters, where we have solidarity, where we act in concert and in solidarity. And now comes the most controversial pieces, what I hate and what I love. I love because again I think it is wonderfully done, hate because it's desperately wrong. Right? Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point is to change it. In some ways, this follows from the earlier ideas, namely praxis. Truth is a practical question. Philosophy only makes sense if it changes your life. If you just read the philosophy text, or the theoretical text, for Foundations of Modern Social Thought, to make sure that we will fall asleep, then the text did something wrong, and I did something wrong. Right? If the texts are right, and if my lectures are right, if you start reading "The Theses on Feuerbach", you cannot fall asleep.

Right? You may have to take a sleeping pill to quiet down and to sleep because the idea disturbs you, because you feel now you have to change the world rather than to accept it. All right. Thank you.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 11 Transcript October 8, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: So today we will be talking about The German Ideology, and Marx becoming a historical materialist. I just wanted to make a couple of more comments about "The Theses on Feuerbach," where Marx is on the edge, moving away from naturalism to historical materialism. But the emphasis in "The Theses on Feuerbach" is not so much on materialism, but it is much more on praxis, action, change, the lack of determination. Marx, as a materialist, is usually seen as a determinist. And if you took other courses where much was-Marx was touched upon, you were probably told Marx is a determinist, economic

determinist. And there's a lot of truth to it, but half-truths, and he is struggling in "The Theses on Feuerbach"--as I said, he's on his way from naturalism to materialism, and the central idea is, as I said, praxis, human practices. And that's why I put down on the slides that it is a kind of dialectical, what Marx represents in "The Theses on Feuerbach". Now Marx himself very rarely used the term 'dialectical'. He had a clear enough mind to be suspicious about the word 'dialectics'. Once, at an old age, he wrote a letter to Engels and he said, "You know Friedrich what? When I don't know what something, then I say it is dialectical." Right? And so dialectical means when you couldn't really find out what the relationship between two phenomena is, when you say, "Well this is dialectical." Well it's a bit too simplistic. The term 'dialectical', as I am sure you all know, go back to Greek philosophy. But even in Greek philosophy, the idea of dialectics was emphasizing change and the process. A famous Greek philosopher once said--and that tries to capture the essence of dialectics--"You cannot step in the same river twice. Because if you step in the river, five minutes later it is not quite the same river because the water is gone; this is a different water." Right? So that dialectics means that the world is in flux, is in change. That's, I think, one important idea of dialectics. And in "The Theses on Feuerbach", Marx emphasizes--right?--that we are changing the world, rather just taking it. Right? In this sense he's dialectical, and this is why he still resists materialism and determinism. There is another, more contemporary adaptation of the word dialectics, which comes from Georg Hegel. And Marx again was shying away to use it very often. But his friend Friedrich Engels used it. He even said there is a dialectical materialism. Engels made a distinction between historical and dialectical materialism. Now what was dialectics in Hegel? Hegel was trying to capturing the process of change. Right? Already in Greek philosophy the dialecticians emphasized that if you are looking at the world, this is not a picture, it is a movie--right?--and every minute you see something different. Now Hegel tried to come to terms with what is the essence of this change? In this essence of this change, he was looking at contradictions. Contradictions drive the change. So Hegel made a big distinction between thesis, antithesis and synthesis. So the change, what dialectics captures normally in social life, it starts with a thesis, and actual conditions, an antithesis, which is the negation of the situation, and then it leads to a synthesis, which is the negation of the negation. Right? In some ways the original condition is reconstituted, but in a different way; as Hegel put it, "preserving it by abolishing it." Right? That's the Hegelian

insight what actually was--this kind of logic was attractive to Marx and the Marxists. Anyway, so this is dialectical. And Marx, from dialectical, from the philosophy of praxis where praxis is crucial, eventually moves towards a more clearly deterministic, positivistic social science in which you have a very clearer idea what is the key cause and the consequences. Right? Doing very much what positivist social science is doing today; identifying the dependent variable and independent variable, to come up with a hypothesis how the dependent variable will cause variation, and the independent variable will cause variation in the dependent variable, and then to describe it. That is very much the mature Marx. And because Marx was moving into, today we will call it normal science, he becomes a real scientist. He was becoming so much of a scientist that at one point he began to doubt there is much sense to make a distinction between social sciences and sciences. He himself began to see himself as the Darwin of social sciences. He was so much attracted with scientific reasoning--the late Marx, the second Marx we will start talking about--that he actually for awhile considered to dedicate the book, Kapital, to Charles Darwin, because he saw himself as doing for human history what Marx [correction: he meant Darwin, did to the evolution of the species. He wanted to do an evolution of human societies. Now luckily for Marx he did not do that. Right? He did not become a social Darwinist. Right? He resisted the temptation. But he was tempted. Okay, I just want to go back very briefly to two "Theses on Feuerbach," because they are very important. Right? And this is the idea. Right? He is now criticizing--right?--Feuerbach. And the problem with Feuerbach, he said, that Feuerbach, and other people who were materialists before him, they thought that there are things outside there, objective things, which are outside of the subject, which creates a knowledge about these objects--he called that Gegenstand, object--and the knowledge is nothing else but a reflection in human mind of the object outside there. This is a very typical theory of truth. Right? Very widely shared today, and probably a theory of truth what many of you in this room share. Right? When is your knowledge accurate? You think about your mind as a mirror. If the image of the object, or the objective world outside, is accurately reflected in the mirror of your mind, then you got it. Right? So what we try to do is to have the most perfect mirror in our mind, and capture the objective reality as precisely and as much in detail as possible. Well Marx says this is simply, you know, reflection, and we should go beyond that. Right? He said, "What is good about what Feuerbach did, what is good what"--for instance, what Montesquieu did. These were the two people we discussed so far who were clearly, you

know, materialist; though I mean Hobbes was pretty much a materialist as well, believing that this is sort of biological conditions which drive us and makes us what we are. So they all started from sensuousness. Right? That the reality is something what we can get at through our senses. Right? We smell it, we touch it, we see it, and unless we touch it, we see it, we smell it, we doubt whether it exists. Right? That's the difference--right?--between materialist and idealist. Ideas you don't get through your senses. Right? You get it through your mind. But he said this is--this materialism is sensuous only in the sense of contemplation. The object is outside of the subject and you get a grasp of it through your senses. And he said, "Well, but what I am suggesting in my new approach is sensuous--all right?--but a sensuous human activity--an activity, as such." I mentioned very briefly that this, in the last lecture--let me just make--come back to this point again. This is what Jrgen Habermas, arguably the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century--well he's still alive but he may--you know? The twentyfirst century has a long way to go to decide who will be the greatest philosopher. But many thinks that Jrgen Habermas was the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century. He said, "Well yes, Marx in "The Theses on Feuerbach" is right" at one point. I mean, Habermas had his 'culture' turn, moved away from materialism. But in most of his life he said, "I am a materialist because I also believe that the ultimate reality has to come through sensuous experiences, through the senses." Right? But he said, "Marx later on, the mature Marx became reductionist, because the sensuous activity he identified with the economy, with production, with economic activities." And he said, "In "The Theses on Feuerbach" he got it right. All sensuous activity are material." "So therefore," he says, "let's not simply limit our analysis to production, but let's look at human interaction." When we interact with each other, this is also a sensuous activity. Right? So he creates peace between Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx. Many people try to do that. Right? That this is not an opposition, that it is either production or your sexual drives. You know, your sexual drives--your sexual interaction with others--is very much sensuous. Right? It's actually more sensuous than doing a job--right?-- than, you know, being in McDonald's and serving hamburgers. That's sensuous activity. But all right, you know, sexual interaction is very much sensuous. That's Habermas's point. And Marx, in "The Theses on Feuerbach", opens this possibility up. It's a very open argument. Okay? This is actually one of the reasons why he does not publish it. It's too vague. He wanted to be more precise, and then he wanted to go--he was reading Adam Smith and Ricardo, and spent all of his time in the British Library reading these economists, and he wanted to bring it back down to earth, to the economy and economic interest. And now let me start to this, because I

think that's very important the theory of truth. And I want you to think about it. I think this is very interesting. So what is truth? And to be very simplistic--right?--you have two competing theories of truth. One theory of truth, what I think most of you have in your mind, is the kind of reflection theory of truth--that our mind is a mirror. More accurately it reflects the objective reality out there more true, the knowledge what we have in our mind is. And Marx, in "The Theses on Feuerbach", says, "Not so. The truth is a practical question. The problem with the reflection theory of truth is that it is positivist and it is alienated." I'll throw in another word coined by a major Marxist philosopher of the twentieth century, Georg Lukcs. He called it this is reified consciousness. Reified--you know, Lukcs was writing in German, and in German he used the term Verdinglichung. Ding means a thing. I think reification is a very good translation. Only those of us who speak English but do not speak Latin don't necessarily quite get it. Right? Rei in Latin means the thing. Reification is the process in which we turn stuff, what is not a thing, into an objective thing. It's a kind of--right?--Lukcsian reinterpretation of Marx's notion of alienation. Marx's term, in German, for reification was Entfremdung; fremd means alien. Right? So alienation is a good translation. Right? You are alienated if you feel alien, if you feel homeless in this world. Now I think but Lukcs has an interesting idea--right?--that the essence of alienation is when we're beginning to see the world, what actually we created--the world is our creation and this objective world will rule us. We do not see ourselves as the masters of the world, but we see ourselves as ruled by the world. Right? And this is reified consciousness, when we're beginning to see the objective reality, we cannot do anything about it. Right? And the essence is the philosophy of praxis of the young Marx, ending--right?--with "The Theses on Feuerbach", the point is to change it; the point is to change the world. So in contemporary discourse we usually call this positivism. Right? Positivists are those social scientists who think there are objective facts out there, and the purpose of social investigation is to establish most objectively and most concretely what those objective social facts are. You are an economist, you describe the objective facts. Right? You say, "Well you have to maximize profit, because if you do not maximize profit, then you will be wiped out of business." Right? This is almost like a force of nature. Again, if I can recall Georg Lukcs, he coined this wonderful term second nature. Right? That we're beginning to think about social life as if it were natural, as if it would have the power of nature; the economic laws look like lightening. You know? Like, you know, this force-- like earthquakes. Right? You can't do virtually nothing about an earthquake. If we

can't predict what we can't predict, we can just get into our car and get out of it. Right? But even we cannot really predict earthquakes. That's one of the problems. Right? Well now we can predict when a hurricane is coming. What can we do? You get in the car and get out of there, where the hurricane will come. Now, you know, the point is that positivism does posits social phenomena as if they had the force of nature. And that's what Lukcs called we create the social world as if it were second nature, as if it had the force of nature. He said this is all wrong because this is the world what we created. We should rule it. Right? That's the idea, to overcome alienation; to become the master of your fate. Right? To be able--right?--to change the objective conditions. And we will--you know, in The German Ideology, Marx puts it very powerfully. I would say it's almost the last word what in this debate he said-- was said. I don't think anybody really improved on it. He said, "Well, humans change the conditions. But we were born under certain conditions, and we can only change the conditions we were born into." Right? So it's an interesting interaction between yes, I mean we can't do anything--right?--because we were born into conditions, but within some limits we can change those conditions. By the way, it's not all that different from Hobbes--right?--and voluntary action, the theory of voluntary action. There is a similarity here. Now I'll finish this and get onto The German Ideology. But there is one thing what I cannot leave out, too--I think too insightful and important to leave it out. So let me come back to this subject and object issue. Right? What I've suggested, it is so extremely important, not only for Marx but for the whole critical theory, and, in fact, for anti-positivism of all sorts in the twentieth and twenty-first century. I mentioned, for instance, cultural theory, which is very strongly anti-positivist--right?--and rejects social science as normal science. So what we have is subject. And that is you--right?--the person who has a consciousness and is a cognitive subject--is involved in cognitive activity, creating knowledge. And then there are objects about which we create knowledge. Reflection theory of truth said that this is a mirror and if the objects are accurately described in the mirror of our mind, that is truth. This is the whole test of having verification of hypotheses. Right? I develop a hypothesis. Then I go there and test it on the social reality, and if it is matches, then it is verified, I got truth. Right? Now the philosophy of praxis says that truth is not simply a reflection, it's an interaction between subject and object; that's where truth is. And there is this wonderful philosopher-- not a very easy read, but still I think a wonderful mind. His name is Adorno. Adorno belonged to the Frankfurt School and was active mainly in the 1940s and '60s--'30s and '60s. And well he

formulated this so powerfully. He said, "What is truth?" He said, "The truth is the force-field between subject and object." Right? "Not simply a reflection of the object, but it is between the tension of subject and object." Right? I think this is beautifully done. Right? It is in the force-field of subject and object. So let me also add one more point, and then we can move away the theory of truth. But I want you guys to think about what is truth? Right? When can you say an idea is true? In fact, Adorno at one point said about Nazism. You know? He said--experiencing, he was Jewish and many of his family were killed--right?--by the Nazis. And he said, "The reality, Nazi reality, is so miserable that it does not deserve to be called true." You see the point? You also say that occasionally, when you see something horrible and you can say, "No, that cannot be true." Right? This is exactly Adorno's point. This can be so miserable that you say it cannot be true. And the idea is that they are so miserable that you are completely powerlessness about these nature-like forces though it is unacceptable--right? You should be able to do something about it. Right? We should have been able to do something about Auschwitz, and they could not do anything about it. And that's what Adorno said. This reality was such that it should not be called true; it cannot be truth. You see what it is getting at? A very final point about this theory of truth, and this is through another guy, Karl Mannheim. This is very much along this line. He was very much not a Marxist. He was a conservative philosopher. His major work was done in England. Mannheim once said, "The truth is not being. The truth is becoming." Bingo. Right? Wonderfully put. Right? The truth is not simply that you describe how things are. You really know what the truth is when you know what it can be, and what you can do about it. The real purpose of cognition is not simply to describe the world but to change it--right?--to make it a better world. That's when you have real truth, when you know how to make the world better. Right? So the truth is not being but becoming. And that's the philosophy of praxis. But I think that's where Marx is in writing "The Theses on Feuerbach", and that's what he is moving away from when he's beginning to write The German Ideology. But he is writing together with Friedrich Engels. And now you see he has to abandon--he cannot publish the book-- "The Theses on Feuerbach" because it is too voluntaristic. Right? He abandoned The Paris Manuscript because it was fluffy. Right? "Nobody will believe me that the revolution will come because the proletariat is alienated." And then when he finished-I think this--I mean, not all eleven sentences are great, but some of those sentences are really great sentences. He wrote it down and he never published it because he said, "Well, this is too voluntaristic." Right? "I have to come up with a more- with a theory which will prove to

people that the revolution will come. Capitalism has to fall. It is not only a question whether we decide to change it or we don't have to change it." Right? "I have to come up with a theory which will prove that capitalism will have to fall." Right? That's what puts him into the deterministic mode. He actually becomes never really deterministic. It's a very simplistic reading of Marx. You know, after all this guy is a theorist of the revolution. He thought that revolutionary ideas should be put into people's head. This idea did not think that ideas do not matter. If he would have believed ideas do not matter, he would not have spent, you know, all of his time, eight in the morning, nine-- until nine p.m. in the British library, and writing books. Right? If ideas do not matter, why do you write down ideas? Because he believed that ideas will change the world. Right? So he was never completely a deterministic. But in the nature of the work he's moving towards economic determinism. And the reason is that now he wants to prove that capitalism--yes, it had great achievement. During the time of capitalism society developed more than ever before capitalism. But nevertheless it will have to come an end. Capitalism will not last forever. And now he has to prove that thesis, that it must come to an end. So that puts him on a deterministic trajectory. That's what makes him--he has to become--he has to accept materialism; that material conditions determine human action and consciousness. So that's what he--they are beginning to develop in The German Ideology. And this is the structure of the book. The first chapter is a critique on Feuerbach; takes on from "The Theses on Feuerbach" but tightens the argument and becomes strictly materialist, and gets out of this voluntaristic element. He has some introductory remarks about critique of idealism and the premises of the new materialism he is proposing now, what he's beginning to call now historical materialism--stays away from the word 'dialectical'. And then he develops-right?--a materialist conception of history and historical development. He replaces Adam Smith's categorization of societies as hunting, gathering, grazing, agricultural or commercial with a new typology. This new typology will be the typology of the modes of production. Not--in fact, in The German Ideology he stays pretty close to Adam Smith. I will point this out. And this is one of his problems. This is one of the reasons why The German Ideology was also left unfinished and unpublished. Right? As I indicated, it was first published--and not the complete text--only in 1903, well after the deaths of Marx and Engels. Then he writes about the origins of idealist conception of history, where it is coming from. He's writing about the development of productive forces, and eventually this covers the notion of relations of production. I will make a big deal out of this, because I think that's one of the

reasons that The German Ideology fails, that until the very end he does not know the term of relations of production, and he runs into some very big problems. And then he writes on Bruno Bauer and Max Stirner. These are Young Hegelians. People usually don't read these chapters. And Volume II, I mean you must be a Marx expert to read this. This is really basically irrelevant, not very interesting. Okay, what are the major themes in The German Ideology? First, he offers a materialist view of history. Then he offers a theory of modes of production. Then he's beginning to develop forces of production and initially division of labor; and this is a problem. This is very much Adam Smith. He's still very strongly under Adam Smith and understands the evolution of society as the evolution of division of labor. And then he describes-- tries to describe the forces of production and division of labor--modes of production and describes a subsection and modes of production and give a very about human history. And then he develops what I would call--he's the first who creates a sociology of knowledge--how to study sociologically, socially how you can understand conscience, human consciousness. Okay, so the materialist view of history. And now here you can see Marx the positivist social scientist speaking. And Marx is the first of positivist social scientists--rigorous positivist scientist. And what he describes here will be subscribed and accepted most of the positivist types in your political science or sociology or economics or psychology departments. Right? He said, "The premises from which we begin with are not arbitrary ones; not dogmas but real premises, from which abstractions can only be made in the imagination." So you start from the objective conditions and then you speculate from this. So what we start are real individuals, and the activities of these individual; actual activities of these individuals. And then he moves a little further. Their conditions of life, both what they find already existing and those what they produce by their activities. Right? So, he said, "German philosophers descended from the heaven to earth. Now we are ascending from earth to heaven." Right? "We do not deduction, we do induction. This is the inductive method what we use." And if you are a positivist, you will love it. You see, this is real serious science--right?--looking at facts. And then he said, "Well ideas have no history, no development. Man developing the material conditions, and then material intercourse, altered their thinking. So it is really our material existence which has a history, and ideas reflect those material conditions." And then he's beginning to develop the theory of modes of production. He said, "Well, man can distinguish from animals in different ways. But most important is that we produce, that we change the environment in a purposeful manner. Right? That we have an image how to change the

physical environment for us. "And what actually matters is not simply what we produce--and this is a very important idea--"but the mode of production, how we produce, how we engage each other. Because this will change in history,not simply what we produce." Well this is a revolutionary idea. Again, this is completely new in Marx. Before Marx, you went into a museum and the museum was about great people. Right? These were kings and queens and generals and popes whose pictures were presented there, and this was the way how history was described. Now you go into a history, and now you can see this is a living room, how people lived in Roman times, and this is the way how they ate, this is the way how they cooked, and these are the instruments by which they produced the stuff what they cooked in their kitchen. Right? This is how a modern historical museum looks like, and this comes--this is really a revolution from Marx. History is not the history of great ideas and great men, or great women. History is the idea of the actual way how people lived and produced and reproduced their ideas. Well he said, "Well, we can distinguish therefore differences between nature, how the productive forces"--he means by technology--"is developing and how"--he uses initially the term the inter--"the intercourse, internal intercourse is changing." And by this he refers to division of labor. A very Smithsian idea, Adam Smith's idea. Right? That history evolves a greater division of labor--we will see in Emile Durkheim also this central idea--you can see the evolution of society by increasing division of labor. And then he tries to come up with subsequent modes of production. Now he said, "Now I actually can describe the history as different types of mode of production, moving from elementary forms. The most elementary form is tribal society. In tribal society where the technology is very simple and there is very little division of labor"--he is sexist enough to say--"there is a natural division of labor between men and women. Men go hunting and women go collecting woods in the forest." And that he calls natural. This is, of course, a sexist proposition. But, you know, he was writing it in 1845--was not the only man who was sexist. "Well the second form is," he said, "ancient communal or state property; antiquity." Now you have development of forces of production, and in fact you have a separation of ownership and greater division of labor, where now people can produce more than necessary for their survival. Therefore there will be slaves who will be working day and night, and there will be philosophers who sit in Athens and Rome and have great ideas. Right? Because the slaves produce the stuff, what they can eat and they can enjoy. So the division of labor evolves. And then the third, now we have the evolution of feudalism. Well slaves were great, producing cheap, but the problems with slaves were that they did not have much incentive to

use very complicated technology. You had to supervise them very closely because they really hated your guts and if they could they did break--right?--the instruments if t. So you did want to give them complex technologies. So you invent serfdom. You say, "You know, why don't you become a serf rather than a slave? You can have your house and I'll give you a piece of land. And if you behave yourself, two days you work on my estate and you produce stuff for me, and I'll let you to spend the rest of the week producing for yourself." But the big problem is that with the evolution of feudalism, the fall of Rome and Greece and, you know, rise of Charlemagne and, you know, the Dark Middle Ages, the division of labor did not develop. There was less division of labor in the eleventh and twelfth century than it was in the first and second century. So the methodology breaks down. Marx is in deep trouble. And as you can see, you can read the text, he leaves after this the page blank. He said, [laughs], "I'm in trouble." Right? "I have to start this all over again." And he starts all over again and tries to come up with something better. Well sociology of knowledge, a very important contribution. This is unfortunately completely wrong, what he's saying, but the methodology is extremely important, and informed people who were studying cognition and knowledge ever since. And he makes this very important suggestion. "Well life determines consciousness" rather than the other way around. And the other argument, which I think is desperately wrong, but very insightful: "Ruling class always determines the ruling ideas of each people." Now life determines consciousness. And this is kind of the essence--right?--of materialism. Right? "Definite individuals, who are productively active in a definite way, enter into definite social and political relationships. The production of ideas is at first directly interwoven with material activity and the material intercourse of man." Tell me, you know, how much money you have in your pocket and I will tell you what your ideas are, to put it very simplistically. Right? Tell me which class you belong to and I will be able to tell you what your ideas are. Right? Well indeed, you know, there is a strong class component, for instance, in voting behavior; not so much in the United States, because in the United States if you are poor, you usually do not vote. Right? And therefore, you know, the Democratic Party is kind of scrambling to get a little working class vote; more than that, without scaring the middle class away for voting them. Right? That's the big traditional trouble of the Democratic Party. But if you look at Europe or you look at Australia--the Australian Labor Party was getting a solid, you know, working class vote. So tell me what your class position is and I will tell you how you will vote in the next elections. As I said, in the U.S. it doesn't work. But it does work in

Sweden. It did work in England for a long time. It, by and large, worked in Australia. Right? If you are--to some extent it even works in the United States. Well there are some very rich people who are Democrats. But typically those guys who are very rich, don't they tend to be Republican? Right? I think they probably do. Right? So, I mean, there is--this is what Marxists are getting at. Right? "Tell me, you know, what your materialist interests are and then I'll tell you what is on your mind." Reductionist. Again we will read Sigmund Freud. He said, "Well true." But this is not only economic interest. "Tell me the history of your sex life and I'll tell you what is on your mind." Right? You know, it's an analogous argument. Right? It is existence which determines consciousness. Right? Both of them said, "Well, it's not necessarily true, that what is in your mind true. But I know where it is coming from." Right? "You were in love with your mother-right?--if you were a man--"and you suppressed all your desire for your mother, and that's why you have your--these false ideas in your mind." Right? "Or you were a--you are a girl and you were loving father. You could not fulfill this love. Suppress your desire and you have all these strange ideas there. That's why you are neurotic. Right? And I can tell you." Right? That's the way how Marx [correction: he meant Freud, will argue it. Sort of, you know--this is also reductionist, by the way. But there is a common interesting idea: who we are biologically, class-wise, race-wise, gender-wise, that makes a difference. I see in the discussion sections. Very often--right?--if we have a real hot topic--you know, do you want to have universal healthcare, for instance, well there is usually a gender division in the class. Right? Sort of, you know, gender has an impact. Right? Well speaking about it, I get into affirmative action. Right? Well of course we are in a liberal university. Few people dare to speak up against affirmative action. But, you know, among white males well there is usually less articulation--right?--to defend the idea of affirmative action. Woman and minorities are more likely to defend it. Okay? So I know who you are, I know what your ideas will be. Right? Your interests form your ideas. That's the idea. I think this is a very important idea. Right? Put in a simplistic way. And that comes to the idea that the ruling class is really producing the ruling ideas. Well not quite true, but there is an element of truth to it. Right? There is an ideological hegemony in the world. Okay, that's about it for today. Thank you.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 12 Transcript October 13, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Marx is cited that once he said, "I am not a Marxist." And I think there is a lot of truth to it. The reason why I carry on and on and on with Marx, in this course, because my experience is that many of us do have very simplistic stereotypes, in our mind, who Karl Marx was and what his theory is all about. Well he was a creative scholar, a vibrant mind, who was ready to change his mind when confronted with new arguments or confronted with new evidence. And there were many, many facets, many faces of Karl Marx. We have seen some of those. Right? We have seen Marx, starting as a Hegelian idealist, being obsessed with the idea of alienation, disappointed with Hegel's fluffy idea of alienation, bringing it closer to home, bringing it more down to earth, making probably some reductionist mistake in the process, then abandoning it and turning into a materialist somewhat hesitantly

and reluctantly. When he starts his turn towards historical materialism in "The Theses on Feuerbach," he says: "The point is to change the world. Truth is a practical question." Within six months, in The German Ideology, he is a positivist social scientist. Right? The point where we start with our real individual and our real actual social circumstances. He offers testable hypotheses, to put it this way, in modern social science language. And in some ways he remains a positivist social scientist, in his major works. So he was changing his mind, and indeed he was less doctrinaire than usually Marxists are. And easy to be less doctrinaire--right?--if you are one of the persons who created the doctrine. Today we will be talking about one important component of Marx's theory, his theory of history. And this is also contradictory, full with tensions and contradictions. But it is a formidable body of propositions; absolutely formidable. There is actually not a single theorist I can recall who, like Karl Marx, not only has a very specific set of ideas in what stages human evolution, from the very elementary societies to the most complex one evolved. There are many who offer typologies like this. We have seen in Montesquieu, we have seen in Adam Smith; there were many who did that. But what is unique about Marx, that he has a genuine theory of history. He has a very powerful argument what is the exact causal mechanism which leads the transition from one form of society to another one; what drives historical evolution. Marx is genuinely the Darwin of social scientists, in this respect. What Darwin could do with The Evolution of Species, Marx was capable to do in the theory of history. It's a genuine theory. Right? A theory, when you have an idea what are really the causal mechanisms, what links cause to an effect. And Marx has such a theory. We will see when we will be discussing Weber, whom I admire a great deal, that Weber really does not have such a theory. And as far I can, nobody else does. Well the only downside of Marx's theory of history is that history proved him to be wrong. Well theories are not necessarily to be supported by the facts. Theories are there, you know, to have a tight enough proposition and to be tested. But what exactly the theory is will vary in Marx's own writings, and there are some versions of this theory which fit better the empirical reality than the original one, and the one which became kind of carved into stone in the literature on Marx. And this is why I do a little comparison between The German Ideology--we touched upon The German Ideology already--and another manuscript that he also left incomplete and unfinished. He was working on it in 1857 and '58, and was never properly translated, the title into English.

We always refer it to Grundrisse, the 'eh' at the end, the sounds. Right? English speakers like to call it "Grundriss". No, it is Grundrisse. And Grundrisse means a sketch, an outline. And that's what it is. One-thousand pages, handwritten pages, written in a big hurry between '57 and '58. Like the earlier attempts to write a big book, The Paris Manuscript and The German Ideology, when Marx approaches the end of his title he argued, theory--he said, "My goodness gracious, I got it all wrong. I have to start it all over again." And he will start all over again, just in ten years' time, and he will write Das Kapital. Did he get it wrong in the Grundrisse? That's what I will try to pose today. And I was merciful enough that I did not ask you to read too much from the Grundrisse. What you read has been published as a separate little book, under the title Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations. And this is probably the most accessible text in the whole one-thousand pages. It was put together and translated by the wonderful British social historian, Eric Hobsbawm. Fortunately he's still with us. He's ninety-one-years-old, and thanks God he's strong; and he's still traveling, if you pay him business class. But we could get him to this class if Yale would be willing to pay business class ticket, but Yale would not do it. Anyway, he's sharp, good, and he was the major social historian of the twentieth century in Britain--not a trivial matter because the best social history was in Britain in the twentieth century. Anyway, he translated it, and you read his translation. Was it difficult? Yes. But try the rest of the Grundrisse, and then you will see how easy this text is. Okay, and the point what I'm trying to make today is to show what a fundamental shift there is in Marx's thinking from The German Ideology to the Grundrisse. So we will start with the initial formulation in the Grundrisse, how he's beginning to conceive what historical evolution is. And this is something we did cover, so I can rush through of it very quickly. Right? The idea is--what he introduces for the first time in The German Ideology, 1845--is the concept of the mode of production. And you already have seen this citation. Right? "Man can distinguish from animals by consciousness, by religion, or anything you like. They, themselves begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce, as soon as they're beginning to change the world to fit their human needs." That is the fundamental insight. And you may dismiss it but, you know, that's clearly a very serious proposition. Right? That if you look at history over time, you will become very interested how these people survived. What did they eat? How did they produce what they did eat? What kind of housing did they live in? How they did build their housing? Right? How they did move around? Did they invent the wheel, or did they already know the wheel? Right? These are the questions you will be asking when you are studying a society. Did they--could they lit a fire or they couldn't? Right? So you were interested in this stuff. How did they kill

the deer? Right? What kind of weapons they had. What kind of instruments they used when they planted their plants. Right? These are obvious questions to ask, and he said, "That's it, that's what we want to see." And he said, "This mode of production must be considered not simply as reproduction." Right? And I think this is a very powerful argument, what he makes it here. Right? This is a definite mode of life. Right? When I'm suggesting mode of production, I'm not narrowly focusing on the economy. I am basically talking about differences in ways of life. And differences in ways of life, as he elsewhere puts it, well first you have to drink and eat and find shelter. And once you are not hungry any longer, and you are not wet when it is raining, then you start thinking. Right? But first you have to fill your stomach--right?--and make sure that you are safe from the rainfall. That's a reasonable argument. Well there are some very important key differences, as we proceed from The German Ideology to the Grundrisse. Well in The German Ideology there's one important difference. History is driven by increasing division of labor. And I pointed to this in the earlier lecture. Here he draws directly on Adam Smith. He basically takes it over from Adam Smith. That's what Adam Smith did. In the Grundrisse, on the other hand, he sees a movement, a gradual movement over history, towards private ownership; that's what drives the story. "A gradual separation of the laboring subject and the objective conditions of the worker." That's how he describes now human history. And doing so--separation of laboring subject and the objective conditions of labor--enables him in the Grundrisse to bring back the notion of alienation. He already seemed to have forgotten and put it on the shelf. Then he will forget it again. But for this piece of work, the idea of alienation re-interpreted as the making of private ownership and the separation of worker and the objective conditions of work is very crucial, very important. There is another big difference. In The German Ideology, Marx has a unilinear view of history; a very deterministic, uni-linear view of history. And this is what will come back in later Marx, and that dominate Marxists of various kinds. Uni-linear means--right?--that all societies start at the same starting point: tribal society. They all progress through slavery, feudalism, capitalism, with the assumption that they all will end up in communism. But this is a kind of uni-linear stage. Every society will have to go through of these stages, and there is necessity that one moves from an earlier stage to a later stage. And as I said, he will show the causal mechanism how it is happening. The Grundrisse is different. This is a messy description of human history, a multi-linear trajectory; and I will show you what his multi-linear trajectory is. The beauty of shifting from

this uni-linear trajectory to the multi-linear trajectory is that, though Marx messes completely the logic of argument up, but he produces a theoretical proposition what you can see fits already in his time, the historical development, very well, and would argue by extension--now I will extend his argument--it even fits better later historical evolution. Okay, let's return now to The German Ideology briefly, and the centrality of division of labor in this work. Well, Marx described--right?--a mode of production between the dialectical interaction between what he saw, he called forces of production--and forces of production means basically the technology, raw materials, the labor power--and eventually he invents a term, the relations of production. But he identifies this with property relations in the later work. But he tends to use the word 'intercourse' or 'division of labor' in The German Ideology. Now dialectical interaction. What on earth this word means? I think I also mentioned once that Marx, in a letter to Engels, once wrote: "You know, when I don't understand something, then I say it is dialectical." So the idea of dialectics was not much clearer to Karl Marx than it is to you. Right? But dialectics basically meant--right?--an interactive relationship. You know, in today's social science language we would say--right?--that there is the causal arrow going in both ways. Right? It's not simply that relations of production determine relations of production. Certain relations of production can block the development of forces of production, and when they change, the new relations of production can unleash the development of the forces of production. So that is the dialectics--right?--that the causal arrow, there is not simple determination pointing from one to the other, but there is a feedback loop. Right? That would be, I think, the modern social science language, to put this one. As I said, in the initial formulation, he really thinks this is the division of labor, rather than property relationships. And I think we have seen it, he will--this comes straight out of Adam Smith, what you have read. Right? The relations of different nations among themselves depends to which each has developed these productive forces, the division of labor and its internal intercourse. So that's exactly--right?--what Adam Smith said. Hunting/gathering societies, grazing societies, agricultural societies, commercial societies, they all correspond to different levels of division of labor. And that's what Marx initially tries to do inThe German Ideology. And he deals with the question of the property relations, but he said, "Look, property relations also change, but these changing property relations are simply the outcomes of the increased division of labor." So it's basically determined by the division of labor. "If I understand the level of division of labor, I will understand property relationships as well." That sounds actually quite reasonable. And these sections of The German Ideology, by the

way, were rediscovered by Marxists in the 1950s, especially Marxists who were living in the Soviet Empire. There was a formidable social scientist in Poland; his name is Ossowski. And Ossowski, in 1957, re-read The German Ideology. And until then, you know, what was carved into stone, that, you know, Marxist theory suggests that this is property relations which explain everything. And that was the project--right?--of communism. You eliminate private ownership and everything will be fine. Right? No private ownership, things will be rosy. Right? There will be equality among people--right?--and dynamic economic growth. Now the Soviets eliminated private ownership. Was it an egalitarian society? No it wasn't. Was it a dynamic society? No it wasn't. Now Ossowski was re-reading The German Ideology and said, "Well you did not read your Marx right. Marx doesn't say it is property relations which is crucial, but division of labor. So, of course, the division of labor exists in a Communist society, just not the appropriate division of labor, and that creates inequalities." Anyway, that was a very interesting debate. Ossowski had a very great reception in western social science circles. Okay, anyway so this is the initial idea--right?--in The German Ideology. And then he proceeds, as again we have seen it. I'll rush through of it. He describes various modes of production this way. Right? There is the tribal society--very primitive means of production: hunting, fishing, gathering. Division of labor is very elementary. And he uses this sexist term: "This is only a natural division of labor between men and women. Women gather and men hunts, because the men are strong and, as you know, the women are weak." Right? And therefore this is a "natural division of labor." Well probably he can be forgiven; I mean, he wrote this in 1845. And then he moves on to slavery. He said, "Well now the forces of production are beginning to develop. In a tribal society people just had enough capacity to gather, hunt, and fish enough food to survive, and therefore everybody had to go out gathering, hunting, and fishing. But now we have new technologies, which are more productive, and therefore it becomes possible that some people say, 'Well I am not going out hunting. I will get slaves, and slaves will do the work for me. They will be able to produce what is necessary for their survival. I'll give them only as much that they do not die from hunger. I eat the rest, and drink the rest, and then I'll just sit at home and I am writing philosophy.'" So ancient philosophy is born. Right? You're Plato, sitting at home, and thinking, and you are writing drama and poetry, and you create art, because the slaves are working the fields, producing a surplus that can be appropriated from them.

Division of labor increases as technology increased. Well as a result, some change in property relationships. Right? Now this is not a communal relationship, we are not members of the same community, but a pretty oppressive relationship between slave and slave owner. And he goes on. And then comes feudalism, and what happens with feudalism? Well what is the problem with the slaves? The problem with the slaves, that they have absolutely no interest in producing. They were simply physically coursed to produce. Therefore they can be pretty negligent in operating the means of instrument. You have to supervise them. You beat them-right?--to make them work. Right? You keep killing them, you know, if they disobey. There's struggle; you know, you have to conduct wars all the time--right?--to get new slaves. Therefore as technology develops, you need a labor force which is more motivated to work harder. So slaves are being replaced by serfs, by peasants. And what is the big change? The big change is that now the peasants will get a plot they can cultivate themselves. They actually have to work only for two or three days on the large estate of the feudal lord, and the rest of the time they can stay at home, cultivate their land. They can build a house. They can have their family. They can marry, and their children will belong to them, rather than to the lord. Right? A big change. Right? In classical states of slavery, the children--there are no marriage, no home. Right? Slaves lives in barracks. Right? The institution of family does not exist. I mean, you know, slavery in the south of the United States was not quite classical slavery, in Greece and Rome or in Egypt, but had some similarities. Right? Slave owners certainly had claim on the children of slaves, and in many instances marriage was really--not really an existing institution, even in nineteenth century U.S. Now the serfs are very different. They have their family, they have their home. They do not have a title of the land and the home, but they have possession of the land and the home. And therefore they have an interest. If they don't work hard on those two days, on the land of the landlords, they are kicked off their land. Right? So therefore they will have to pay more attention. That's the idea. But then he looks at--you know, compares--the Dark Middle Ages in Europe--right?--the peaks of feudalism with Rome and Greece and Athens. And he said, "Did the division of labor increase?" He said, "No they, the division of labor decreased." I mean antiquity, that was discovered in the Renaissance, was far superior to the Middle Ages. The big cities, like Rome, were abandoned. Many of you were in Rome. Even now you see ruins. Right? The glorious Rome--right?--was left as a grazing land for the sheep. Right? Those lands--you know, they could bring water into your homes. Right? The Greeks. They had high levels of technologies. They had highly developed industries. This was all forgotten in the Middle Ages. Right? So what is the Middle Ages? Some people said this was a step backward

historically. Right? Inquisition, the Dark Middle Ages, the decay of the cities; it's a step backward. Well Marx doesn't know what to do with it. Right? And as I said-- pointed out, he abandons the manuscript here. He said, "Well the theory doesn't work. I cannot explain this all with increasing division of labor." Then, of course, would be-- the fourth mode should be capitalism. And as he's beginning to develop the form of capitalism, he's beginning to develop now the notion of relations of production. Really feudalism is superior--this idea comes up in The German Ideology-superior to the Middle Ages [correction: antiquity] because it had more developed relations of production, more developed property relations. It was a further step towards private ownership. It was a further step because now the laborer had possessions of the land, what they cultivated. Well and here it comes, the classical Marxist view, what he will change in the Grundrisse, about historical change. And this is, I think, a provocative, important statement; that he said, "If I'm looking at a mode of production, we can characterize them by the correspondence of the forces and relations of production. A certain level of forces of production require a certain type of relations of production, a certain type of relationship between individuals." This is, in Marx, what a hundred years later in social sciences were called structuralism. This is a typical structuralist statement. Right? That you have correspondences of the different elements of the system you are analyzing--a correspondence of the forces and the relations of production. And then he goes further. And now we will begin to see how he develops the causal mechanism of change. He says, "There is the development of forces of production." To use the term of contemporary Marxist Eric Olin Wright, is "sticky down." Sticky down means that the forces of production can only become more complex. You don't forget--actually it's not true, but that's the theory--you don't forget more advanced technologies. Technology is always advancing. But the growing, evolving technology eventually gets into conflict with the relations of production, between the property relationships and social relationships in society. They become outdated. So outdated because, as I pointed out, the slaves were not sufficiently attentive to technology, and the serfs were more attentive but not sufficiently attentive. The serfs were not-- did not have such high incentives to work very hard with complex technologies than you guys will be when you will be in a job. Right? Because you will be highly paid and highly skilled. You will have fringe benefits, and you don't want to be fired. Right? And you will put your skills to use, and therefore you will be able to use very--with great care, that the computers you use are not being damaged, as you are using them. Right?

So therefore you have to become a wage laborer to have these very high incentives to work very hard, and to be very careful with the instruments what you are using. And then he says therefore what happens that eventually these outmoded social relationships become in a conflict with the forces of production, and we want to have more. We want to have development. Right? And therefore at one point there will become a tension between the outmoded, outlived, old relations of production and the need to create new spaces for the development of forces of production. And this is the revolutionary movement [correction: moment], as Marx defines it. This is the time when the revolution will come because this is when we will rise against the old social relationships and replace them with new social relationships--right?--which will create new space for further growth after development of forces of production. Again, you know, just to make clear, a way one of the misunderstood ideas of Marx: Marx never said that capitalism is not effective. On the contrary, Marx said capitalism was the most productive system in human history. He said, "In the last hundred years of capitalism we achieved more progress than in the whole human history." Or what Marx said--he wrongly said so, he proved to be false--that it will never-- not will go on forever. At one point capitalism, like any other previous modes of production, will get in conflict with its relations of production, and that's when the revolution will have to come. Right? And so far we know that Marx proved to be wrong. He underestimated the extraordinary capacity of capitalism to adapt to major challenges. Right? We just have seen it in the last eighteen months. Right? Well, you know, capitalists was grumbling, "All right." You know, just think about the Lehman Brothers. Right? Think back in March. Well, you know, this was very shaky. Did it work? It looks like it probably does. Right? It learned how to recover. Anyway, Marx's point was capitalism was really a big revolution, and unleashed the development of forces of production. Now move onto the Grundrisse, and what are the major contributions, ten years later. Well first of all now the evolution of modes of production is described to be changes in property relations. This is basically where The German Ideology ends. He started at the wrong point, division of labor, and now property relations is a central idea. And private ownership is now defined in a new way. He said, "What is private ownership? When the subjective-- laboring subject--is completely separated from the objective conditions of labor." Right? You can see this is a big step forward from The Paris Manuscript--right?--where the essence of alienation was commodity relationships. Now it is not commodity relationships. He captures the

essence--right?--of alienation in the nature of private ownership. And we will talk about what that exactly means. The transition, therefore, to capitalism, is a separation of workers and the conditions of labor. And Marx puts it very powerfully. This is an idea which then comes back and haunts us all the time. This is an idea we will be able to read in Max Weber as well. The big progress, what is happening, that the worker becomes free, in a double sense of the term. That is what capitalism is producing, in contrast to traditional or feudal society. He became free. I was slave and now there is a civil war and it is declared 'no more slavery'. I am legally free. But, Marx said, yes, capitalism produced legal freedom and legal equality, but it also kicks you off the land, forces you go to the city, and forces you to sell your labor. So you are also freed from your possessions. Right? So you don't have the means of [correction: substance] what a farmer had. To some extent even a slave had some. But certainly the peasants did have that means of subsistence. Now capitalism requires that people do not have the means of subsistence--that you have to go to the supermarket to buy your egg. Right? The system would not work very well if in your backyard you could grow everything what you need. Right? The incentive for you to work will be substantially reduced. Fortunately we cannot grow our vegetables what we need. And we have to drive to get to work when--we have to drive to get anywhere, and we have to buy gasoline. And we are also therefore forced to sell our labor force. This means--right?--free in the dual sense of the term. Right? Legally free, and freed from the means of subsistence. Right? The notion of freedom, of course, said with some irony. Okay, and then the fourth proposition, multi-linearity. Right? There are various ways societies can take from a tribal society. And he writes about antiquity. He invents the notion of the Asiatic mode, what he never used before, or labor. He's talking about the Slavic form, and the Germanic form. And rather than talking about modes of production, Marx, in the Grundrisse, is writing about social formations, or economic formations. A very interesting change. It's not just a change of terms, it's a very important change in the theory. Okay, just very briefly about the evolution of the modes of production and changing property relations. Well he said, "In old pre-capitalist formations, well there is an appropriation of natural conditions of labor, of the earth as an original instrument of labor, and the individual simply regards the objective conditions as his own. There is no separation really of the objective conditions and the laborer." Slavery is the clearest example. Right? The Greeks said, "The slave is a working animal." Right? The slave was treated as an object--was not really seen as a subject. The slave did not have the rights of an individual subject. There were

no individual liberties for the subject. I mean, it varied from slavery to slavery--right?--in antiquity. Right? That was the idea. Well the serfs, a little step further away. Right? They actually do not have ownership, but have possession of the means of production. They are not treated as legally free individuals and subjects. Think about the right to the first night. Right? The feudal lord had the right to spend the first night with the bride in the case of a wedding. You have seen the opera, Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro. Right? You remember what the story is. Figaro is deeply in love with Susanna, and wants to marry her, and he is scared that the landlord wants to live with the right of the first night. He does not want the lord to spend the first night with his bride. Okay? That's the story. Right? An important eighteenth-century story. Anyway, so he's not quite a subject. The worker, free worker, is a subject. All right, let me just move on to private ownership. He said under capitalism the work, the object, are completely separated from the worker. And here is--right?--the idea that we have this double separation. Right? We are separated from the means of our existence, but we are also legally free. And more citations of this kind. It's also very important--right?--that the transition to market economy happens by pushing people off the land and forcing them into the cities to become laborers who will depend only on the wage what they earn on the labor market. And now comes--a few more minutes--an intriguing idea, these multiple trajectories he described. Right? So the initial idea was a uni-linear trajectory. And let me just do it this way. That this was the idea. <Professor writes on blackboard>> Tribal society leads to slave society. That leads to feudal society, and that leads to capitalism. Right? And dialectics. Right? Relations, forces of production. This drives the process. Right? It happens through breaks. Right? These are revolutions, which lead from one to the next, when these dialectal interactions leads for people to throw up the old system. Now we have a very different view presented here. He describes--right?--the various forms, with different individual forms of ownership, and points out that in fact the uniqueness of what he called the Germanic form, Germanic tribal form, that it became individual possession. This is indeed, as far as even now we know from historiography, a unique feature of Germanic tribes that they allocated the land by lottery, before each season, to individual families, and then families cultivated the land. They did not have individual property rights in the land, but they had individual possession allocated. That was--the common land was divided up by individuals or individual families. And that is the unique feature of this. And

here it is, and I hope you see it quite well: the multi-trajectory development, what he describes in theGrundrisse. Well, he said, "It's not true that tribalism all led to antiquity of slave societies." He spent, you know, from eight in the morning until ten in the evening, was sitting in the British library and reading like crazy. And he said, "Well something wrong. When I am looking at Asia, there is no universalized slavery. Well there are slaves in China but, you know, they are kind of family slaves. There are no great plantations which are cultivated by slaves, like in Egypt or Ancient Rome." He excessively generalized about Rome, Greece, and Egypt the whole notion of slave mode of production. This is unique antiquity. "But when I'm looking at Asia--and in fact I'm looking at Pre-Columbian America--right?--there is no universalized slavery." So he uses the term Asiatic form. He did not know much about Pre-Columbian Americas. He knew a little more about India and China--did not know much. He knew as much as usually people could in the 1850s--was reading heavily. But he understood that this was a different form. Right? And the uniqueness of the Asiatic form, as he puts it, was these were hydraulic societies. They were big empires, all organized around irrigation and flood protection works. And in order to have these irrigation and flood protection works, you needed big empires. And what the big emperors in China did, that they left the village communes alone, as long as they did deliver those taxes from which the imperial power was able to build flood protection and irrigation networks. Right? So the village commune was left alone as a commune itself, and was not transformed into serfs or slaves. China never really had a classical case of feudalism; feudalism the way how we know it from England or France--right?--or Spain, it never existed in China. Therefore it was the Asiatic form. Right? A centralized imperial bureaucracy, and the hydraulic economy, driven by water problems. And then he said, "Well there was the Germanic form." And I briefly talked about the Germanic form--right?--where you had family possession. And he said, "Well, where does feudalism come from?" The original theories said, you know, transition from one mode of production to the next happens because of internal class struggle. Right? The theories should predict that feudalism fell because the serfs had enough. They went uprising, hanged the slave owners, and created a new society. Well Marx said, "I was a jerk. This is not how it worked. Look at how Rome fell. It was invaded by the Germanic tribes." And what is interesting, these Germanic tribe actually had much less advanced military technology and technology generally. But they had a superior social relationship system. They had a more developed idea of private ownership than Rome had. So, in fact, the Roman Empire fell because it was

invaded by the Germanic tribes, and they transformed the Roman Empire into a feudal society; they transformed slaves into serfs. And there is also the Slavic form. Well there is the Russian obshchina. Well it's a kind of feudalism, but the feudal lord actually treats the obshchina, the village commune, as a unit. Again, it is not the central authority in Russia who collects the rents, but the feudal lord; but leaves to a large extent the village commune to operate in a communal way. And therefore he said, "Therefore I was wrong. It was not the internal class struggle which led to the evolution. Very often this is an external force which leads to a change into another mode of production"-right?--"into another social formation." And therefore he said, "Well, shall I say that the Asiatic form necessarily will have to go through feudalism before it can be capitalism? No way. China is in a way already have some signs to move towards capitalism, without creating feudalism." But he did not know that a gentleman called Mao Zedong come a little later, and he said, "And do we have to become capitalists first?" And Mao Zedong said, "But we hate capitalism. Why don't we create communism straight out of the Asiatic form?" And that's what he was trying to do. And therefore, you know, he had the--this is sort of my addition, this arrow; of course, it did not exist in Marx--right?--from the Asiatic form to communism. But that's what Mao Zedong did. Did it work? No. Well one say probably it did. The only point is that Communism is not at the end, Communism is before capitalism. Right? I think Mao Zedong successfully converted Asiatic form into Communism, in order then to move Communism into capitalism. That's what Marx did not quite consider, but will be completely consistent with the type of analysis he offers--right?--in the Grundrisse. And finally about the Slavic form, and I am out of time. The same argument. He gets a letter from a Russian anarchist, Vera Zasulich. And Vera Zasulich was a great admirer of Marx, but she was a kind of populist anarchist left-winger. And she said, "But Mr. Marx, do you really want us to destroy this wonderful Russian obshchina village commune, where we live so intimately together as brothers and sisters, to create this hated capitalism? Why can't we move straight into Communism? This is a Communistic form." And Marx kind of nodded. "Well", he said- he responded, "it's an interesting idea." And this is exactly what Vladimir Illyich Lenin and Stalin did. They converted the Russian obshchina into what they called kolkhoz; collective enterprise. All what happened, similar to the Mao story, it turned out not to be the road to the most advanced form of society, but a kind of side-road towards capitalism. And the question, what remains to be discussed, whether this side road was necessary, and whether this was the most effective way to move to capitalism, and what came out as capitalism from

it is really the best possible capitalism at all? But that's for another course. If you take Varieties of Capitalism, we'll talk more about that. Thank you.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 13 Transcript October 15, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Good morning. So we got to the end of Karl Marx today. And after a long detour we are finally at the Marx you are probably the most familiar with, or the kind of Marx you have heard the most about. The major-- my major aim so far in this course was to shake a little the stereotypes which was in your head about Marx, to show you that Marx was a much more complex thinker, full with contradictions, and in a search for truth. Whether he arrived at truth, that's another question, but he was desperately searching for it.

So we went around different epochs of Marx. Right? In The Paris Manuscripts, the first attempt to write a big work, we saw him as a Hegelian. The central concept is still alienation, a Hegelian concept. Then he breaks away. Right? He turns into a historical materialist in The German Ideology, but does not quite get it yet. Right? Too much under the influence of Adam Smith. The division of labor is still important and private property does not get the centrality of the analysis, what it's supposed to have for the theory. Then you read the Grundrisse, in which he kind of--now private property is in the central place, but he tries to bring back the idea of alienation. And he also considers that in The German Ideology he became too deterministic; history is more open than he may have believed. And then finally he finishes the book--at least the first volume of the book he always wanted to write--Das Kapital. And in the Kapital, only the first volume was finished by him, and it was the only first volume what he thought was ready for publication, and came out in 1867. He offers a very coherent, very cogent argument. It's not a messy text like the Paris Manuscript or The German Ideology or theGrundrisse. Marx felt this is ready to be printed; and it was ready to be printed for sure. And this is now his major contribution, the theory of exploitation. That is undoubtedly Marx's major contribution to social theory. Whether it is right or wrong, this is another question. I think there are few people who would accept his theory of exploitation the way how it was formulated. But there are still quite a few theorists around here who are attracted to the idea of exploitation and try to re-conceptualize the notion of exploitation in one way or another. And it's also something which has very much entered the public discourse. You yourself use it. Occasionally you feel I have been exploited. And it actually has quite a bit to do with what Marx thought about exploitation, when you say, "This is an exploitative relationship." Right? So the term is with us. Okay, then of course in order to have the theory of exploitation, this is necessary for Marx to have a tight conception of the theory of classes. And the text I asked you to read for his theory of classes is an old text, much precedes the theory of exploitation, The Communist Manifesto. It's also only a pamphlet, it is a political pamphlet. It's not aimed for a scholarly audience. It does not argue its case in the scholarly way, as most of the argument is put forward in the chapters I asked you to read from Kapital. Right? But it has very important theoretical insights. In fact, though Marx does not have the theory of exploitation, he still comes very close to a mature class theory. What is interesting though, today we identify Marx as certainly one of the great theorists who created the idea of class. The other one is, by the way, Max Weber. What is also interesting

about both of them, that they never wrote any coherent analysis what class is. Well in The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels write a fair deal about class, but they don't have the conceptual apparatus yet really to do it right. And by the time he has, after he finished the first volume of Kapital, he actually makes an attempt, what eventually was published by Engels as the third volume of Kapital. And here, in chapter 52, he said, "Now this is time to write my theory of class." He writes a page and a half, and then he abandons it. He said, "I can't do it; too difficult." Right? So it leaves to you--right?--and the next text-- test in this course, to figure out what the right theory of classes are, and what's wrong about it. Right? In fact, Weber is pretty much in the same bind. He writes a little more than one-and-a-half page, but not much more. We will talk about this when we come to Max Weber. But classes certainly still do haunt us. Right? We cannot get the idea of class out of our hair. Even in the United States the notion is around us; though there is no other modern society which is so free from the idea of class and exploitation as the US of A. But even in the US of A, we still talk at least about the middle class. So the term is not completely alien from us. Okay, so let's jump into this, and let's do it this time in a reverse order--that I start with the mature theory, 1867, and then informed by this theory I go back to 1848, The Communist Manifesto, and deal with this. So the major themes for the lecture today is I want to elaborate on the theory of exploitation in Marx, his idea of classes in history, and finally to ask the question, how many classes are there? Marx seems to have contradictory answers to this question. And this is certainly a question which still fascinates people who are studying society, social stratification or class structure. Of course the answer seems to be obvious probably to most of you. Yeah, in the United States there is one class, the middle class; we are all middle class. Right? That's the typical American answer to this. But for an analyst it's a bit dubious answer; if there are classes, how on earth there is only one? Anyway, we will talk about this a great deal. So let's move to the question of theory of exploitation. And I will have to start this with the labor theory of value, and to go back to Adam Smith and to see how Marx is proceeding. Then I want to make a step further, Marx's distinction between commodity production and the capitalist mode of production. This is again taking his point of departure as Adam Smith's, Adam Smith's idea of commercial society. And what Marx does, well there are different types of commercial societies. One he calls the petty commodity production, and the other one capitalist mode of production. As we all know, he never used the term capitalism. He comes

the closest to this concept by using the term capitalist mode of production. Neither Smith nor Marx had the concept of capitalism, as such. Then in order to understand what is unique about the capitalist mode of production, we have to understand Marx's theory of labor power as a commodity. And I will explain to you why this is so central to Marx's theory of exploitation, and then Marx's theory of class. Okay, so that's about it. And now the labor theory of value. The point of departure is John Locke and Adam Smith. Right? As you recall, already John Locke suggested that all value is created by labor; or, I mean, he's a little more cautious, at least 90% of all value is created by labor. How on earth he comes up with this figure? He's not very accurate about this, not very forthcoming. Right? Social scientists today would be a bit upset. "Where do you get this number from?" Right? He doesn't tell us. But the bottom line is well taken. Right? You remember clearly--right?--his wonderful proposition. "The water in the well belongs to everybody. But who doubts that those who fetch it--the water--that water belongs to him or her? Because it is his or her product, labor product. And what is the value of that water, what you are carrying away from the well, what you did fetch from the well? Exactly the amount of labor you had to put in, in order to fetch that." Clear, right? A nice theory of property--right?--and a nice labor theory of value, though it's not quite called this way by John Locke. But so is by Adam Smith. And, as you recall, Adam Smith claims at one point, "All value is created by labor." Well but of course Adam Smith, when he comes to explaining the distribution of wealth, takes a step back from this proposition. And we discussed that when we discussed Adam Smith. Let me just remind you what the step backward. Right? The tension--right?--in Adam Smith was that on one hand he claims all value is created by labor, and then when it comes to the question but how is wealth or income distributed. He said, "Well it ought to be distributed between the three factors of production--right?--labor, capital and land; wages, profit and rent. And they have to be equally distributed in a just way, between these three factors of production." Right? And I think you remember we clarified that this is not a contradiction in Adam Smith. Somehow when he's claiming that all value is created by labor, he almost has a theory of human nature. Right? That in the state of nature, when there is no private property of land, and there is no accumulation of capital, then all value is created by labor. But this is just in this imagined--right?--natural conditions of existence. In all complex societies private ownership exists and private--and capital is being accumulated. And then, you know, in order to get production going, the capitalist has to rent-give capital, advance capital, to the worker. Without the advancement of capital, the laborer

would not work. And therefore the owner of capital has due claim for part of the value which is created in the process of production. Because it took risks--right?--by offering its capital, and it had to supervise the labor process, and wants to have compensated for its risk taking and its supervision. And you could not operate without land, without a site. All activities need a site, and if somebody owns that site, they'll have to be compensated that you are on the site; and that is rent. Well this is a little more problematic in Adam Smith. You know, for capital he makes a pretty strong case, you know, why it is fair for the capitalist to collect profit. For the owner of the land, he--they are collecting rent. That's a little more problematic, whether rent is also something, a just income. And we all have a little unease--right?--when we are talking about rent, or when we are talking about, for instance, rent-seeking behavior. Right? That sounds a bad behavior, if somebody's seeking rent. Right? The reason is simple; because we associate in our mind rent-seeking behavior with monopoly. Right? Rent-seeking behavior comes from monopolistic ownership, and we don't particularly like monopolies. Right? We want competition, free competition--right? Free markets, and not monopolies. Right? Monopoly's a bad word. Anyway, this is a little of a problem. But nevertheless I think his fundamental point, in Adam Smith, that there is some fair distribution of income between the three factors of production, because they are all necessary for the production for the production process. I just suggested that, in fact, there are still people, scholars, who are seriously interested in the theory of exploitation today. They usually abandon the labor theory of value. I have not met yet an economist or political economist, or even a sociologist or political scientist, who still believes in the labor theory of value. Right? So now therefore when they try to construct a theory of exploitation, it is more around the theory of rent, rather than labor theory of value. Okay, then let's move further and let's try to figure out how--what Marx does to Adam Smith, and how he radicalizes Adam Smith. Marx does not want to go the Adam Smithsian way, to say there is a fair distribution of wealth between the three factors of production. First of all he asks the question, okay, what is value? And he defines value with this very simple equation. C is constant capital. Right? Constant capital means the capital which is advanced by the capitalist in order to make the labor process possible. Constant capital can of course involve the improvement on the land, on the site what you are using for your production process. Right? If there is a building put up on a site, the cost of the building will have to be returned in the process of production--right?--and therefore it will also contribute to the value of the product.

V is variable capital. Variable capital means wages. And S is what he calls surplus product. This is--you produce a product, you sell it. It is not enough for you, in order to be and stay in business, if all what you collect a return of the capital you advanced for the production, and the wages what you paid to your laborers to complete the process. If you would do that, you would be done. Right? All smart entrepreneurs want to generate some surplus. They want to get a little more than they started with. Otherwise why on earth would they waste their time on this? Right? Why on earth would they take risks? Why would they spend their time supervising the process? Why would they start worrying whether this will work out or not? They need a surplus. So therefore that is the value of the product. Now, and here it is. Right? Constant capital is investment. And here there is an agreement--right?--with Adam Smith. Right? You have--right?--factors of production. But Marx wants to be consistent--consistent in saying that all value is being created by labor. And he said, "But what is constant capital? Where does constant capital come from?" He said it is coming from labor. It is accumulated labor. It is labor which was actually performed before capital accumulation, was appropriated by the capitalist, and it is being now used as constant capital. So there is, one argument is, all capital was at one point a product of labor, and that is what is your investment. As I said, variable capital are wages. And then there is surplus product. And that surplus product, Marx argued, is also the outcome of the labor process and the product of the laborer as such. So Marx starts to shy away from the idea that there is a kind of fair distribution between capital, land and labor. He said, "No, I mean, all value is being created by labor." So this is his kind of reconstruction of the labor theory of value, and leads us into the idea of exploitation. Right? I will labor on this in a minute, to try to put more meat on it. But the essence of exploitation is that what the capitalist will advance is actually labor which was appropriated from the workers in an earlier cycle of the production, and then the capitalist will pocket the surplus, will not give any to the worker; a worker will be satisfied with the wages. And this is where exploitation comes from. Right? Exploitation somehow has to do with what the capitalist had to put into the production process. Right? Constant capital and variable capital, and how much he pocketed after the process was over. So there is no-nothing fair about this, in Marx's view. This is--right?--the big difference between social democratic trade unions who wants to keep the capitalist system going; they just want to have collective bargaining and negotiation-right?--with the employers, so to have a reasonable level of profit to the capitalist and a reasonably high level of wages for the workers. Marx said, "Well there is nothing reasonable.

This is a system, an exploitative system." Well, and this is what I said: "The rate of profit will be the surplus divided by the expenditures." Okay, let's move a little further and makes--and let's have this important contribution what Marx makes between petty commodity production and capitalist mode of production, right? It's trying to sort of break up Adam Smith's idea of commercial society or market economy or capitalism. Marx seemed to have a more complex notion. Well he said this is petty commodity production, and he again offers us a little equation here. He said petty commodity production begins with a commodity, and then you go to the marketplace, sell this commodity for money, in order to purchase a commodity. This itself is commercial society. This is commodity production. But it is not capitalism. Right? This is why Marx, for instance, was a bit uncertain, and he's rambling about this a little. Is the United States, in the early nineteenth century, really a capitalist economy? And he was puzzled by this because the overwhelming majority of Americans were actually involved in self-employment. It was a highly commercialized society, a highly developed market economy, but there was relatively little private capital accumulation. Most people were farmers or self-employed artisans or merchants. And what did they do? They did produce commodities. You were a shoemaker, you produced a shoe. But you were specializing in shoemaking, and you did not bother you try to also raise chickens and to have eggs. So you needed eggs. So you brought shoes on the market, you sold the shoe for money, and then you went to the farmer and you bought egg, so you could have your scrambled eggs. Right? Okay, that is petty commodity production. Right? And the purpose of production--this is a very important proposition by Marx--is satisfaction of needs. Right? You are operating, you are producing stuff because you have certain needs what you want to satisfy, and the production of some good, well in excess of what you need, has the purpose to satisfy other needs what you have, and money is simply a mediator to make sure that different types of needs are being properly exchanged on the marketplace. Right? Now Marx here is way beyond Marx of the Paris Manuscripts--right?--who tried to identify markets and commodity exchange as the source of alienation. There is nothing alienating about this process. Right? Now but then he said well capitalism is a different ballgame. We are talking about a capitalist economy when the cycle starts with money. And though, I mean, the chapters you have read, Marx tries to discipline himself. He tries to really behave and to be a scholar. Right? But he can't resist. Right? His emotions--right?--and his values are too strong. So he said, "Your moneybag," talking about the capitalists. He should not have said so. Right? He could have done this coolly, objectively, simply to say, "Well, we have an

economic system in which we have--right?--people who accumulated capital, and they are entering the marketplace. And what do they do? They produce commodities. And why do they do so? Because they want to have more money; that's it." And I would say this is bingo. Right? I mean, the comparison between the two is really capturing, in a very powerful way--right?--the emergence what we understand a capitalist economy--right?--as distinct simply from a commercial society. I think this is a very, very important and very insightful, very simple, very precise, and very persuasive argument. Now let me just say a few more words about this. Why is this so? Why does a capitalist need more money than it started the process? And I will get into it a bit later in more details. Well there are very good reasons for it. One reason we already mentioned. Why should the capitalist bother--right?--advancing capital and taking risks, unless it is compensated by more money? And that's in itself a good enough reason. But there is an even more important reason. We are on a competitive marketplace; in a competitive marketplace, in a capitalist economy--which in Marx's own words is the most dynamic economy in human history--there is improvement in technologies. The capitalist will create more money because it will have to reinvest this money in the production process. It has to improve its technology; it if would stop to do so, the competition would wipe it out. So the capitalist has to collect--right?--more money than it started the production process. Even the most altruistic capitalist has to collect more money at the end of the process. Even the capitalist who said, "I'm such a good man. All what I'm doing is to creating jobs for those poor, poor people, that they can have a decent living and a nice suburban home. And I don't want anything in exchange for it. I do it out of altruism." Okay, let's imagine our altruistic moneybag. Right? Still the poor guy does not have a chance. It has to collect more money because otherwise next year he will not be around any longer. He cannot be altruistic any longer because the competition will wipe him out. Right? That's the argument. Okay. So now here comes Marx. He said, "This is a big change, because now the purpose of production is not satisfaction of needs, but it is really a generation of profit, which is inevitable because competition among capitalists." Now comes a big puzzle. Where on earth do more money comes from? How is it possible that the capitalist goes out with money, buys commodities, and gets more money at the end? Is the capitalist cheating us? Buys cheap and sells dear? He said, "Well this is impossible. If there would be a capitalist who would buy cheap and sell dear, and would pocket a profit this way, there will be others who will say, 'Well I will compete and I will sell it less expensively, and I will sell more, and I will create more profit, and we'll push these artificially high prices down. There is supply and demand

which sets the prices'." So that more money cannot come out of cheating. Right? It simply cannot come out simply for circulation. It somehow has to come out from the production. Now how can it happen that more money is created? And this is where the idea of labor power as a commodity comes in. What the capitalist does is buys from the marketplace a specific commodity, and this specific commodity is labor market [correction: power]. And labor market [correction: power], so Marx argues, is that commodity--the only commodity-which actually can produce a higher value when it is consumed than its own value. In every other input--right?--raw material, the amount of labor which was put into that raw material, where in a production process you consume it, that is being transferred into value of the new product. So you are producing a refrigerator, you need steel or aluminum to produce it; the value which was put into the production of steel or aluminum will be carried over, exactly the same amount, into the refrigerator you produce. So it cannot create more value. Right? What can create--the only commodity which produces more--is labor power as such. Well, and this is also important, that Marx suggests therefore what the laborer has to sell cannot be labor, it must be labor power. Well you may be--Talmudistic stuff--right?--this twisting words. But it isn't. I think there's an important idea he said. He said if you would sell labor, then--and if John Locke was right and all value is created by the laborer and belongs to the laborer--then the capitalist would have to cheat you. Right? Would not be able to sell-give you the price of your labor; could not have a surplus value or a profit otherwise. Therefore the capitalist will have to buy labor power, the capacity of work. And Marx insists we have to think about a system in which the capitalist price pays the proper price--the exact price, the market price, the right market price--for labor power. The worker is not cheated; the worker is exploited, but that's not cheating, right? So why? What is so unique about the labor power? Right? And let me just emphasize, it's very, very important for these chapters what you have read. That those are always equivalents which have to exchange each other at the marketplace. No cheating. The worker is not being cheated. It gets the proper price for this labor power. So but what is the price of the labor power? It's exactly like the price of any other commodity; the price of its reproduction. Right? How much labor is necessary to reproduce that commodity. If labor power is a commodity, the price of the labor power is exactly how much is necessary to reproduce that labor power. It involves--right?--the cost of your housing, the cost of your living, and the extended reproduction of labor power. It involves that you have to raise children. It involves education; you know, human capital investment. This all will have to be compensated for the laborer. But if it is compensated, then the laborer is compensated for its laboring capacities, labor

power, will work under the supervision of the capitalist, and the capitalist will make sure that the laborer, after the costs of the reproduction of labor power are covered, will work another three or four or five hours, under the supervision of the capitalist, and start producing surplus value for the capitalist, or profit for the capitalist. Right? That is--right?--a stroke of the genius. Right? That's the big solution what he's offering. And this is why I said though there is a heavy--of course he hates capitalism, of course he hates exploitation. But if you look at the logic of the analysis, this is pretty cool-headed analysis and does not imply value judgments. Right? Does not imply moral judgment. You can go through of this to say, "Yes. Why? Sure. That's it, that's how the system works." He does hate it, and as I said he cannot stop, and expresses it. Okay, let me talk about classes very briefly. And now we are back to The Communist Manifesto. And there are really a couple of issues here. He's talking about classes as a transhistorical category, which in a way is contradictory to the argument of Das Kapital. He's talking about the bourgeoisie as a new class and as a progressive class. Now let's look at this, classes as a trans-historical category. Right? This is written almost twenty years before Das Kapital, without the theory of exploitation. And he said the history of all previously existing societies is the history of class struggle. And you remember I said this idea is becoming already in The German Ideology, where he tries to develop these causal mechanisms--right?-which explains evolution in history. And this is class struggle all along. Right? The struggle of the slaves against the slave owners, the serfs against the landlord, and finally it will be the struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie. That's the idea. Right? And this is being used in a trans-historical way. The trouble is that this is obviously wrong. It's wrong in terms of Marx's own theory of exploitation, and actually it is also empirically a wrong statement. Right? Why it is wrong in terms of Marx? Because it doesn't fit the theory of exploitation. Right? If exploitation is unique for a capitalist mode of production, reasonably you can talk only about classes in a capitalist mode of production where the labor power is free in the dual sense of the term-legally free and freed from the means of production and therefore has to sell its labor power. Right? If this does not exist, you should not use the term of classes. So this is a contradiction in Marx's own analysis. And, of course, it is empirically wrong, because it's true there were class struggles in history, but was antiquity overthrown by the revolt of slave owners against the slaves? No, it wasn't. As we have learned from Marx, it fell because it was invaded by Germanic tribes. Did, in the South, slavery end up because the slaves revolted against the slave owners? No. Because

capitalists from the North initiated a war against the South. Right? Did the proletariat ever revolt to overthrow the bourgeoisie? Not really. In countries where we are talking about proletarian revolutions, there were hardly any proletarians. How many proletarians were there in China in 1949? It was obviously an overwhelmingly peasant economy. Right? Those were peasant masses who demanded land, who carried out the revolution under the leadership of Mao Zedong. Russia, not much different in 1917. So it's simply not true. It's also not true that the classes which were subordinated earlier will become the new dominant classes. I mean, the slaves did not became the landlords, the serfs did not become the grand bourgeoisie, and the proletariat certainly did not become a dominant class in China or in the Soviet Union. Right? This is all wrong. Right? But the argument is still interesting. Then most importantly--right?--the bourgeoisie, he said, is a new class, and probably, arguably, the first real class. The landlords were not a class because they were not constituted in economic terms. They were constituted legally--right?--and by customs, rather than simply on market exchange and market competition. And he also said, "Well, this bourgeoisie was an extremely revolutionary force." Right? "And it actually transformed the whole society." And here I think there is--even in The Communist Manifesto he contradicts himself. He said, "Well, you know, what it did, it transformed occupations, which were based on honor before, into class positions." Right? It converted the position of a doctor or a lawyer or a priest into a kind of class-like position. Though their power traditionally was based on honor--they were honorable positions--now they become positions for which an income is being paid. All right. And then he writes--it's very important to appreciate that Marx sees that the bourgeoisie did play an extremely important progressive role in history. But it's not only--he hates the guts of the bourgeoisie for sure, but he appreciates the contribution of the bourgeoisie for the development of modern society. Right? He said, "The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionalizing the instruments of production. Right? "In a scarce one-hundred years has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than we have all preceding generations together." Well, sounds like somebody who loves capitalism. Right? Though of course he doesn't, because he thinks it will eventually destroy itself. Now the last issue is about how many classes. And well what follows from the logic of Das Kapital, and I think it is also the point of Marx in The Communist Manifesto, there are two classes: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Right? The moneybags and the workers. And the workers are exploited by the moneybags, and that's the reason for class struggle, and that's what eventually will lead to revolution. But my goodness, where are the middle classes? There were not all that many proletarians in 1867. There was no society, except industrialized

Soviet Union, where the majority of the population was industrial worker, but no ruling class. They were exploited and screwed, don't worry about it. But they were in majority. But it never happened in Western societies. We never reached a point--and then, of course, the industrial working class has been declining. Now, properly speaking, the industrial working class in the United States is probably not more than 15% of the population. So where is the middle class? So well I don't have much time. Let's rush through of this. Well he said there is, you know, these elemental confrontations between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Well he does not have the theory of exploitation; he cannot explain it quite well. And you can do it by now, armed with Das Kapital. Right? This is a contradiction because, you know, the proletariat has no choice but sell its labor power and be exploited. And this is, of course, an irreconcilable contradiction. And what about the middle class? Well Marx said "Yeah..." Well he is--of course even in a political pamphlet--he is a good enough scientist, social scientist, that he will say, "No, there is no middle class." He knows there is a middle class--that most people do not belong to the bourgeoisie, and the proletariat in 1848. And, as I said, they never did. But he said, "Well, but look at it historically. What we call middle class is disappearing. Look at all those peasants and small artisans and small merchants, they will all disappear, and they will all have to either--very few of them will become big capitalists, and the overwhelming majority of them will become working workers." Well this is not without insights. Right? For about a hundred years after The Communist Manifesto the trend was going in this direction. Right? Self-employment was shrinking, and the wage labor was increasing. Right? In big ways. Right? In the mid-nineteenth century 70 to 90% of the population was working in agriculture and was self-employed in other businesses. Right? Today in the United States the agricultural population, I don't know the exactly the most current figure is somewhere between 1 to 2%. Right? And self-employment has been substantially reduced for a very long time. But things happened what Marx did not foresee. Right? And what he did not foresee were-and I probably will leave it here; there are two things what he did not really foresee. One, that actually this trend turned around. There is no more reduction of self-employment; in fact, there is some increase of self-employment. It varies from countries to countries. In Japan, big way. Right? In the United States some improvement in self-employment. But selfemployment is stubbornly resistant. Right? You have supermarkets, but you always do have your corner deli shops, and they don't seem to be disappearing. Right? I even take my shoes to

a shoemaker to fix them. Right? So I mean, I do not throw my shoes out, I go to a shoemaker and they fix it for $25.00 for me, and I don't buy a shoe for 150 bucks. Right? So, I mean, there is--mass production has its limits. Right? There is a quality production-right?--by artisans, and we want that quality production. And the more important argument: in fact, Marx conceptualized wage laborers as physical laborers. Physical laborers, as I pointed out, manual laborers, at least in advanced countries, is this minority of the society. In the globe, that's different--right?--because manufacturing and industrial activity was kind of decentralized in the world, into the Third World. But in the United States and in Continental Europe it's a thriving minority. But there is a big new middle class, and this new middle class are those white collar workers, like most of you will become and what I am. Right? I mean, I'm--it's not white--right?--the collar. Right? But so that means, in Marx's sense, I hardly do any work. Right? What kind of value do I create? Right? What does it mean? I am exploited? Well I don't think Rick Levin really exploits me. Am I an exploiter? No I don't think I exploit you guys. Or do you exploit me because I have to stay up until midnight to grade your assignments? No, it's not really. I actually occasionally have fun reading your assignments. Right? So we have a new middle class--right?--which simply does not fit the analysis, and where the notion of exploitation loses its insight. Okay, I'll leave it here. Thank you.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 14 Transcript October 20, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Okay, now today we move--basically we move into the twentieth century. And there is a lot of similarity between the three authors we will be discussing: Nietzsche, Freud and Max Weber. You know, Durkheim will be a somewhat different kind of story. But all--I mean, Nietzsche, of course, died in 1900, but he was out of action for ten years because of mental illness, rather severe mental illness. He published all of his work in the nineteenth century. Freud and Weber started to publish in the nineteenth century. But

these three characters, in many ways, are very important bridges towards twentieth century social theory. In a way they did foreshadow a great deal of theorizing, particularly during the second half of the twentieth century, especially in the last thirty or forty years. I think it's also very easy to see the point of departure from Marx--some continuity, but the basic point of department from Marx in the work of Nietzsche, Freud, and Weber. If I can put it very simply, the major departure is that they all depart from Marx's economic reductionism-right?--the emphasis on economic interest, which is actually not only Marx. Right? It was common in Adam Smith, and Marx as well. They depart from this and they emphasize that the problem in modernity is not so much in the economic system; it is much more in terms of power and consciousness. The problem of modernity is repression, in one way or another. The problem of modern life is that we internalize the reasons for our own subjugation, as such, and somehow we have to figure out how to liberate ourselves from this internalized subjugation. Why do we obey orders? Why do we actually accept that we are subjugated? This is the central question, I think, Nietzsche, Freud, and Weber are posing. It's again a question which has not been really asked by the other theorists we discussed so far. They just had civil society as a point of reference for the good society. Now the problem for Nietzsche, Freud, and Weber is in us, internally--in us, how we solve the problem within ourselves. So this is a kind of introducing the three authors. In some ways one can say Nietzsche, Freud, and Weber not only foreshadows twentieth century social theory, but in some ways they are the first of post-modern theorists--right?--the theorists which are beginning to come to terms with the oppressive nature of modernity, and try to figure out how to transcend that. Now I think what I asked you to read for today is probably the most difficult text for the semester, The Genealogy of Morals, and you may have been greatly frustrated by it, and probably also irritated by it, because he's a very provocative mind. I hope you did what I suggested; namely, you had a cursory reading of the text before today, and now you can go back to the text, after my lecture notes, and I think that should help you to find your way out and to see what he is really up to. Now what is he up to? Let me just foreshadow, before I get into his life and work, and particularly in Genealogy of Morals. There is another point in which Nietzsche, Freud, and Weber can be understood in relationship to Marx. In my very introductory comments, I emphasized the difference--right?--the shift away from the economy to the question of power and domination. But there is a point at which there is a continuity between them and Marx-Nietzsche, Freud and too mainly Weber; I mean, Weber is a somewhat more complicated story. But certainly Nietzsche and Freud are critical theorists; critical theorists in the sense as

we defined this earlier. Right? Critical theorists, that they are offering a criticism of human consciousness. What is in our mind and how did it get into our mind, and how-- and the problem of our consciousness in relationship to our existence. And this is very much critical theory as it was defined by Hegel and then the young Marx, the Hegelian Marx, the Marx of Paris Manuscripts. Right? The Marx of alienation. Right? This is very much coming from this tradition, and the central issue is how can we subject this to critical scrutiny? And in Nietzsche's case, there is an incredible attempt being made here to try to offer a critical theory which does not really have a critical vantage point. Right? All critical theories of Hegel and Marx and twentieth century critical theory do have an idea of a good society, of an emancipated human existence, and they criticize the reality, the society what they are analyzing, from the point of view of this critical vantage point. Nietzsche is different. He is really the most radical of critical theorists. And in the twentieth century the theorist which builds the most consistently on it is Michel Foucault--right?--who tried to create a theory which is critical of existence and our consciousness, but critical without telling you what is good, what you should be aspiring for. And that's exactly what Nietzsche is trying to do. It is sort of the squaring of the circle. Can you be critical of a situation if you cannot tell what is the good outcome? Right? Can you actually subject the very notion of the good society, the good, to critical scrutiny? This is what he's trying to do. Right? To offer such a theory. Well Freud is different. Right? Freud is a critical theorist beyond Hegel and beyond Marx. He does agree with Marx that we have to find some critical analysis which is rooted in our sensuous experiences, and somehow we have to relate the problems of our consciousness to our sensuous experiences. Right? In this respect, Freud is very much in the line of Marx's critique of Hegel. This is not simply radicalizing your consciousness; you have to confront your consciousness with your sensuous experiences. But he is different from Marx because--I pointed this out earlier very briefly--because in Marx, this sensuous activity is production, it is economic activity. For Freud it is our sexual experiences--right?-and he offers a criticism of our consciousness by confronting us with our repressed sexual experiences in our earlier life. Right? So this is a critical theory. Right? He said, "What you think is in your mind is right. No, no, no, it isn't." Right? You have to think about all of your experiences of your earlier sexual life, and then when you figure out what you repressed as bad memories, that's when you will actually will be able to have a healthier psychic life. Right? Well Weber is more complicated, and we will come back to this, Weber's critical theory, when we get to Weber, and to the question whether he's a critical theorist at all, that has been highly debated.

Okay, I think now we are ready for Friedrich Nietzsche. And I hope this makes more sense now for you--right?--what you were reading. Right? And let me just emphasize one more time--right?--the big project in Nietzsche is to offer a critical scrutiny of human mind, but not to have any critical vantage point. Right? To criticize the very principles of good society and good, to critical scrutiny. Where does it come from when we have the conception of good and good society? That is his project. It's an incredible intellectual venture. Right? As I said, it is this kind of squaring of the circle, what he does; what he does with a great deal of power. And he does it extremely provocatively. I will put up a couple of quotations for it, which are outrageous. Don't walk out on it. Right? Wait a little. Hold your breath, listen. This is outrageous what he's saying. He's a provocateur. He is like Rousseau; he is only worse than Rousseau. Right? He provokes us even more than Rousseau. But, you know, deep down he's a very sensitive--you know?--very humanistic human being. Right? He provokes you. But if you listen carefully, you figure out there is something what you actually can relate to it, when you think what he's actually trying to get at. All right, here is Nietzsche. And let me just very briefly rush through his life. He was born in 1844, in the small city of Rcken in Germany, near Leipzig. And this is very important: his father was a Lutheran minister, and the family was all clergy, Lutheran clergy. And he's bringing up, in a very religious sentiments, very religious family. And in many ways his work is a reaction against the father, and it is a reaction against the kind of Lutheran Christianity he was deeply internalized into. I think this is very important to understand. I mean, I know that most of the people in this room have strong feelings in Judeo-Christian tradition, and he attacks also Judeo-Christian tradition. This is a revolt against the father. This is a revolt against what he was brought up to. It is an attempt to find himself. Right? That's what he's trying to get at. And you have to be a little tolerant about him, you know, and his attempt. You did that as well. You were revolting against your parents, and you were revolting against some of the fundamental principles you were born into. He actually enrolls to the University of Bonn to become a Lutheran minister himself. He studied theology. As it happens to many people actually who enroll into a seminary, doesn't take him too long to become an atheist. Very often the seminaries are the best training grounds for atheists. Right? You're beginning to see somehow the complexity of theological thought. This is what he experienced. So he quits after a year. He realizes he is on his way to become an atheist--right?--and he will not become a minister. Actually this happened to my brother as well. He actually did not quit, he did finish; he was also trained as a Lutheran

minister. But by the end of his theological training he was--I don't think he ever confessed-but he was actually an atheist. So I have personal experiences--right?--what theology can do to you. Right? Okay, then '68, there is a very important event in his life. He meets the greatest composer of his time, Richard Wagner, and they become great friends for a time, and they become bitter enemies later on; and it is very important why this happened. He is appointed as Professor of Classical Philosophy at the University of Basel, before he got actually his degree. But he doesn't do it for too long. Right? He's only teaching for eight years in his life, and then he retreats and he sacrifices his life to scholarly activity--spends a lot of time in Italy and, if he's in Switzerland, in a small, beautiful spot, Sils Maria. He also meets in '73 Paul Re, a German philosopher, who has a great deal of impact on him, who introduces him in '82 to Lou Salom, his only real but very passionate lover. And I will say a few words about this later on. In '88 he becomes mentally ill. The story of his beginning of his mental illness tells you a lot about him. He is in Genoa, in Italy, and then he walks on the streets, and then he sees a carriage driver beating a horse vengefully. And then he suddenly cuddles the horse, beginning to cry, and his mind is gone. All right? He falls deeply into mental illness. He never recovers anymore. It I think tells a lot about who Nietzsche as a human being was--right?--and how actually--how much compassion he could have with suffering. Right? This work, what you were reading, has a lot to do with suffering, and gives you a devastating view what human suffering means. Anyway, he's in care of his mother until she dies, and then his care, unfortunately for him, to his sister Elisabeth. And he dies in her home in 1900. Now a bit about Elisabeth Nietzsche. Here she is. She was born two years after Nietzsche. And she married a guy whose name was Bernhard Frster, in 1885. And Frster was one of these proto-Nazis. He was a fanatic antiSemite. He was very attracted to this idea of the superior Aryan race, and he actually created an Aryan colony in Paraguay, and moved with Elisabeth to Paraguay in a pure German community. Some remains still exist, and if you are a devoted neo-Nazi, you may want to visit Paraguay, because there are some of these guys here still hanging out there. They look like Indians, because of course not very pure Aryan nation; they are not blonde and blue eyes any longer. They intermarried with the locals. Right? But anyway, this is what he wanted to do. It didn't work very well. So at one point he committed suicide and Elisabeth returned to Germany. Well I think it's very important that Nietzsche, after she got married, broke the relationship with his sister. He just could not stand his brother-in-law and his anti-Semitism. Though you

will see some of the citations which sound very anti-Semitic, he was very intolerant about anti-Semites. This was one of the reasons why he broke his relationship with Richard Wager. But in '94, Elisabeth created the Nietzsche Archive. Nietzsche was insane, and he had a lot of unpublished work, manuscripts. She put it together into an archives, and she abused it as much as she could. She turned into a right-winger and with the rise of Nazism a Nazi, an admirer of Hitler. And she put together a lot of Nietzsche texts, in order to fabricate a Nazi ideology out of Nietzsche. And some, therefore, had been reading for a very long time Nietzsche as an ideologue of Nazism. So did Adolph Hitler, who actually even attended the funeral of Elisabeth in 1935, when she died. Well I think people who read Nietzsche carefully, and who have seen now Nietzsche's original work published, rather than selections by Elisabeth, have a great deal of doubt whether Nietzsche has anything to do with Nazism. Though the story is complicated. Now here we come, a nice triangle: Lou Salom, Paul Re and Friedrich Nietzsche. Well I should show this picture after Freud. Remember that. Watch on it; it is a very Freudian kind of presentation, Louis Salom, Paul Re in the middle, and Friedrich Nietzsche on the other side of the picture. Now Lou, Paul and Friedrich. Paul Re actually comes from a very wealthy Jewish family, German Jewish family. For reasons which is beyond me, occasionally Nietzsche refers to him, when they already broke up, as "the English psychologist"; he was a German philosopher. Anyway, he became very good friends, at one point. I mean, Nietzsche was an impossible person. He'd fall in love with people and then he broke. Just strong love or strong hatred; there was nothing in between. But anyway, the idea of genealogy, which is probably the main piece in Nietzsche's work, is coming from Paul Re. Then he introduced this wonderful young, and very smart young lady, Lou Salom, to Nietzsche, and he falls desperately in love with her. This happened in '82. She was twentyone-years-old--as I said, very beautiful, and wonderfully smart. And well Nietzsche was hoping to marry her; I mean, he was opposed to the idea of marriage, but he's writing letters to Paul Re--kind of not aware that there is a relationship going on between Paul Re and Lou--that he wants to marry her, probably for two years or something. Anyway, I think by all likelihood there is an interesting love triangle going on here for awhile. But Nietzsche is impossible, and Lou is a sane woman, and at one point she just cannot take his insanity anymore. And he moves to Berlin--lives for awhile with Paul Re. And then, though she is also opposed to marriage--we are talking late nineteenth century, right?; very radical ideas about sexuality and marriage--but then she still married this guy, a linguist called Andreas. Anyway, she was also a very smart woman. She at one point said they wrote a book together--

Re, Nietzsche, and herself--and she never published that. She said this one was an experiment, a joint book by the three. We never--as far as I know, it never had. Another important person in his life: Richard Wagner. Well Nietzsche was a music fanatic already in his boyhood, and when he read Wagner's piano transcript of Tristan and Isolde, he just fell in love with that. That was the music he was looking for. Why? He was a hero worshipper. That's why people, some people, read still in him a kind of proto-Nazis. He liked strong, beautiful people who are heroic and do heroic acts; like the Greek. Right? A beautiful young man, powerful, and heroic, like the gods, the Greek gods; that's what he really admired. And this is what he found in Wagner's music, a rejection of the roots of Rossini kind of sentimentalism of Italian music, and in fact the classicism and coldness and pretentiousness in the music of Beethoven. And what he found is something new in Wagner. So he was attracted to Wager. And as he was becoming actually increasingly anti-Semitic, under the influence of his last wife, Cosima, who was the daughter of Franz Liszt, the composer, and was really a pretty evil person. And also Wagner was changing. He was becoming in some ways kind of more Christian or something, and he was writing this--I actually have to confess--lovely opera, Parsifal. Well, Nietzsche could not take it. You know? It was impossible for him. So then they break. He could not stand Wagner's anti-Semitism, and he could not stand Parsifal, and a kind of expression of--I don't know, anybody ever heardParsifal? No. Well not easy stuff. It sounds like an oratorium. It has some Bachian kind of elements in it, and it's about the sacrifice of the lamb of God; Jesus' sacrifice, and a performance of the mass and the cult of Jesus' blood, as such. I mean, anyway this was certainly--Nietzsche was not a buyer for it. Well just a word about his first book, The Birth of the Tragedy--which, as I said, he was a great admirer of the Greek civilization. And here he--his idea is that the whole human history is driven by the struggle between a Dionysian and Apollonian principle. Dionysian means-right?--your sentiments, right? You act out of your instincts. And Apollonian means the reason, as such. And the book contrasts Enlightenment. Enlightenment is reason. It's a victory of Apollonian principle over the Dionysian principle. And he kind of rejected--this is also why he's also kind of post-Modern, right?--he rejects Enlightenment and Enlightenment excessive rationalism. And this is why actually he liked Wager, because he thought in Wagner the Dionysian and the Apollonian components are being combined. Right? Passion and reason are put together. And Wagner loved the book. Then he writes a book, 1879, Human, All Too Human, which starts from Voltaire and the sort of reification of the free thinkers. Now he is a free thinker. And he also breaks with

Romanticism, and follows Re. And he said, "Well what we have to do is to subject the Christian idea of good and evil to critical scrutiny, not to accept that there is some general principle of good." And therefore he tries to developThe Genealogy of Morals. Now, as you can see, Wagner and Nietzsche are on a collision course. Right? Nietzsche is now subjecting the very core of Judeo-Christian tradition to critical scrutiny, while Wagner is writing Parsifal and being the Holy Grail and asceticism. Wagner assumedly even has not read the book. He heard about it and rejected it. He did not buy anything about this. Now this is Nietzsche's house in Sils Maria. He went there for the first time in '81, fell in love with this, and spent time there until he became ill. He also wrote The Genealogy of Morals. He wrote to his mother, "Finally I've found the loveliest spot on earth." And he was greatly inspired. This is where he wrote the book Also sprach Zarathustra, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. This is a kind of a book which is a central attack on Judeo-Christian morality, what he found repressive and wants to get out of it. His hero is Zarathustra, which is modeled after the Persian prophet Zoroaster, and he calls him, "The first of immoralists; to dare to be immoral is what you have to do." And he tries to find a middle way--right?--between the repressive Judeo-Christian morality and nihilism. He wants to get--doesn't want to reject everything. And that's where he's beginning to develop the idea of the bermensch. I wish we would have more time to talk about this. The bermensch is basically the person who brings his life under his own control. It's not quite what you think the bermensch is. Right? The stereotypes about the bermensch, that this was a kind of Nazi idea of the blond Germans--right?--which are superhuman. Well Nietzsche has a philosophy called Notion of the bermensch. The bermensch is the person who achieves self-mastery, who--basically the alienated person--right?--who is in control of his own life--right?--and can express himself authentically, without oppressive civilization. Right? That's the bermensch. In a way this is a Buddha. It is an idea of a Buddha, but not a passive Buddha. He disliked Buddhism as much as he disliked the Judeo-Christian tradition. The problem with Buddhism was that it is too passive. He wanted to have an active Buddhism. Right? Somebody who becomes a master of its life, through action, acting out his feelings and his even sensual essence in life. And therefore he can overcome what he calls "the eternal return." Right? He can overcome the iron law of these--you know, this is again comes from almost Marx. Right? Reified consciousness. The reified word can be broken. There are no rules. Right? You can realize yourself in the world, and you are not ruled by the external world.

Now he's ready for The Genealogy of Morals. I have some twelve minutes for this. What are the major contributions? Well he reconstructs the methodology of genealogy, what he takes from Re, and he discovers what he calls "the origins of morality." And then he introduces a difference. Okay, what is the difference between good and bad, where this is coming from, and good and evil, where this is coming from? And he compares the two ways, how this dichotomy, that some behavior is good, other is bad; some behavior is good, other is evil, where this is coming from. And this is the essence of the genealogical method. Right? He does not need a critical vantage point. The good and the evil distinction can be criticized from the good/bad distinction point of view, and the good--and vice-versa. You see what--this is the essence of genealogical method. As Foucault will interpret it: "Give me a notion, tell me what is right." Right? "And what I do, I take the same conception back in history, and that will show what you think is right, just, or noble, has been at one point of time regarded as evil, what you should fight for. And tell me what you think is evil, and I'll go back in history and I will show you instances where what you think is evil was actually admired and was seen as ethical." Right? This is the essence--right?--of the genealogical method. Right? That you compare two ways how morality has been constructed, and you are criticizing one from the point of view of the other, without taking sides where do actually you stand, as such. And then he develops the kind of origins of the notion of evil, out of slave morality and ressentiment. And then comes one of the most controversial issues, the idea of the blond beast, the bird of prey and the origins of ideals; what can be easily--again, I will have to ask for your patience. And then the idea of bermensch. And finally the origins of punishment and bad consciousness and guilt. Okay, so as I said, he reconstructed the genealogical method. I think this is a wonderful sentence, how the whole book begins: "We are unknown to ourselves, we knowers, and with good reason. We have never looked at ourselves." Right? This is critical theory, what he suggests. Right? You think you know a lot of stuff about Hobbes and Locke and Rousseau, and now Nietzsche. But you don't look at yourself. Look at yourself, be critical of your own consciousness. And especially the major step here: try to subject the very conceptions what you think is ethical to critical scrutiny. Where does this idea come from? And he said--his real argument is that the origins of the terms good and evil would do--we have to discover how it actually was constructed, and not with a more superior principle. So therefore what we need is a critique of moral values. This is wonderful now. "The value of these values should be subjected to critical scrutiny itself." Right? And not only the values, but the values behind the values; you know, there is

an unending criticism in the process. So this way what Nietzsche can do, or he believes he can do, is to offer a critical analysis, without some ultimate value. He does not give you ultimate values, what is the right is, but he does that without becoming nihilistic and to say "anything goes." Not, "We can discover the miseries of the world." We can be upset. He could be so upset to cuddle this horse which is beaten. Right? You can have compassion; and that he showed. This was an inspiration for Foucault. All right, the differences in the origins of good and bad, and good and evil. Well I think this is a pretty--probably the most straightforward part in the text, what you have read. Yes, he said, "Well, when we use the word 'good', you often see that good has something to do with being not egoistic." He said, "Well, that's not so. It has nothing to with non-egoistic, in terms of its origin. It was constructed as a non-egoistic later on." And he said, "Where does the good coming from? It is coming from a master race; a master race which saw itself as good and defined those who were subjected to its rule, usually dark-skinned, natives, as bad. That is where the notion of good and bad is coming from." But that's different with priests. You know, he was studying to become a minister, and he really disliked priests; priests, you know, wearing these dark clothes. You know, they are not the chivalry aristocratic kind, like the Greek semi-gods and gods--right?--who are confident in themselves. And therefore the chivalry and aristocratic distinction--which was what?; the physically good. You know? The beautiful body. The men and women of Greek antiquity could see themselves as good, and others who were not as good--was crippled, they were bad. Now the priests are powerless, and this powerlessness leads to hatred; hatred of those who have power. Right? And now those who have power are seen by the powerless as evil--not simply as bad, but as evil. So now the contrast is not between good and bad, but between good and evil. But what turned around is the power relationship. And now comes the slave morality. And well he said it was the Jews that was the priestly nation, the nation of priests, and the origins of Christianity brought about this reversal, saying, "Only those who suffer are good; only poor, the powerless are good. Right? The rich and those in power are evil." Right? And the slave revolt of moralities, he said, begins with the Jewish revolt. And this has a thousand years of history. And you know what? That was victorious. This is the dominant morality of our times. And he said this leads to the--and here you can see, this is not an anti-Semitic statement, this is a criticism of the Judeo-Christian morality, and in fact the real target is Christian morality. That's why he said, "This is the horrible paradox of God on cross." Right? That is, you know, when you sort of turn--right?--

those without sin to carry the sin of humankind; a self-crucifixion of God for the salvation of mankind. Right? And this is this ressentiment; ressentiment, there is no proper English or German word for it. Right? Now beginning to see the enemy not simply as bad--as I don't care if it is bad, I'll defeat it--but it is evil; it may even defeat me. And now comes the blond beast; another provocative statement. "The center of all noble races, one cannot fail to see the beast of prey; the magnificent blond beast"--right?--"avidly prowling around to spoil and victory." Right? As I said, hero worship. But let's--you know, is this the German blond? He said, "Well Europe viewed with horror the raging of the blond Germanic beast for centuries." But then he adds-and watch carefully, right?--"Although between the old Germanic people and us Germans, there is scarcely an idea in common, let alone blood relationship." Right? This is not Nazi ideology. Right? This is a kind of an argument that being powerful, realizing yourself, is actually what is desirable, what you should be striving for. Well I think this is very important--right?--this last sentence I'm quoting here. Right? "What's happening in the European situation is kind of a leveling." Right? "Today we see nothing what wants to expand. We are getting thinner." Right? We are not as strong as this statue inGreek statue. Right? "And better natured"--right?--"cleverer, and more comfortable"--right?-"and more mediocre." And he said, "Bad air, bad air, it smells. What a horrible modernity-right?--where we become all mediocre and all the same, and we cannot fulfill ourselves." Right? And then, well this is very nice poetry--provocative, but think about it. "There is nothing strange about the fact that the lambs bear a grudge towards the large birds of prey. But there is no reason to blame the large birds of prey for carrying the little lamb. Well the lambs say to each other, these birds, prey are evil. And whoever is least like the bird of prey and most like the opposite, like us, the lamb, is good, isn't it?" Right? "Those who dominate is bad and those we are the suffering are the good ones." Well the bad--yeah, the bird of prey responds. "We don't bear any grudge at all towards those good lambs. In fact, we love them." Right? "Nothing can taste better than a tender lamb." Right? Well, as I said, this is disturbing. But I think the point is, what he's calling for. Right? The self-fulfillment of individual. And the--and his desperation that in the modern world we cannot fulfill ourselves. And here it comes: "The workshop ideals- where the ideals are fabricated." He said in this workshop lies are turning weakness into accomplishment. Impotence; not to retaliate is being turned into goodness, though you are only impotent, and you're beginning to construct your impotence as good. You are not good. You can't do

anything about it. And submission to people what you hate, that's what you call obedience; not because they- you really accept their superiority, because you are afraid of them. And then you construct a good notion out of this. Obedience, this is a good word. Well he said there are- they are also talking, "love your enemy, and they are sweat while they are saying so." Right? It's a big lie. You don't love your enemy. You hate the guts out of them. You say you love them, and meanwhile you sweat. Right? That's what he said. You know, this is the workshop--right?--in which the ideals are created. This is where they call it the triumph of justice. You don't hate your enemy. Oh no, no, no. You hate injustice. Right? You create your enemy as unjust--right?--and unfair; rather think, well this is my enemy and he's stronger than me. Well therefore, he said, "the workshops where ideals are fabricated, they stink of lies." And again "bad air, bad air," get out of here; clean air, let's talk truth, not lies. That's the point. And bermensch is the one which will. Right? Because the bermensch is--he said, well good and bad, good and evil, fought together. Now the good and evil is dominating us. Well the Renaissance was brilliant. It was reconstructing--right?--our classical idea. But then came again, he said, "the Judeo triumphed again." Again, be careful; not anti-Semitic, no. It's again more against Lutherans than against Jews. He said, "Thanks to the basically proletarian German and English ressentiment movement called the Reformation." Right? That's his real enemy here. And he said, "Well the ber"--we don't have time to labor on this. So very briefly origins of punishment. Well we have to forget; forget is we have to suppress memories which were bad, and in order to suppress, well there is mnemo-techniques. That means that we are actually-pain is the most useful way how we forget what we have to forget--we have to remember. Right? He said, "These Germans, the nation of thinker, made a memory for themselves with dreadful methods, stoning, breaking on wheels, raping apart and trampling to death wild horses." All right, I have to finish it now here. But I hope you get sort of the bottom line. Right? The bottom line is have a radical critical theory, which does not need ultimate value to be critical of false ideas and lies. Get truth; and the ideal is the person who can fulfill itself in the world, and conquer the world as such.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 15 Transcript October 22, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Good morning. I have to get started because there is, of course, a lot to be said about Sigmund Freud. Actually it's a shame I have only fifty minutes for it and not two or three lectures. Just before I get into Freud, I just want to tell you that I did send the questions already; emailed it to you. So if you check your email, you have the questions for next Thursday. And I strongly encourage you to attend the lectures and the discussion sections. Those questions are not necessarily very easy. So you may want to get more exposure beyond the readings to have a good handle on it.

And let me just very, very briefly come back to Nietzsche, before we go on to Freud. Though I have enough on Freud, more than enough for today. But I would like to still kind of wrap it up and to say what the bottom line is. And the big question is, to start with, what is genealogical method? What is new in Nietzsche's approach? And it should be clear from the writings and from the lecture, and I think from the discussion sections--right?--that what he's suggesting, that in the genealogical method you will take an ideal and a moral principle, what you think is the right idea, and then he will show that one can think about this idea differently; and historically they did think differently. And his major example is good. You think an idea of what good is; it's uncontestable, easy to agree? Well I will show you that in history the notion of good--and it's opposite, what is not good--has been constructed differently. So the point of departure, first of all: well, there is the Judeo-Christian morality of good and evil. I will show--I will go back to time, I'll go back to the antiquity--and I will show that the notion of good was completely different. Right? That is the genealogical method. But to do it consistently, he really should be claiming that going back to the antiquity--I'm not suggesting that the good in antiquity was the real good. Right? It's just a comparative study, which relativizes the idea of good in your mind today, to make you aware that good has been thought about differently in different times. And, in particular, of course, his main focus is on the notion of morality in modern society. And he said well there is something unique about this modern society; namely that morality somehow is internalized into us, and we kind of accept our own subjugation and our oppression because these values are so deeply invested into us. So that is, in a way--right?--the genealogical method; not to have, as I said in the lecture, a critical vantage point. Try to get a way that I will give you the real universal definition of good, and I will criticize any question of morality from a universal concept of morality. That's not what he does. Right? His major aim is to show that all moralities, all conceptions of moralities--all conceptions what is justice, what is fair, what is humane--has been manufactured--right?--in the workshop of ideals. And this workshops of ideals is a dark place where actually coercion, torture, is being used to manufacture these seemingly great ideas. It's all about control over humans. That's in a nutshell--right?--what Nietzsche is trying to do. So let me just make a step back to Marx and foreshadow a step forward to Freud. So this Nietzsche has really little disagreement with Marx's theory of alienation. He said, "Well, as long as Marx is saying that in the modern world we are alienated because we are not masters of our own fate, I agree with him." Right? We are alien in this world and we do not have

power over our life. External conditions act like as if it were nature, a thunderstorm, and determines our life. He agrees with this diagnosis--right?--of modernity. His problem with Marx is that Marx comes to a solution. Right? Marx says, "Well, I know what human emancipation will be. I know what good society will be, and I know who will get us there." Right? "The proletariat." And he said, "This is churlish; that's no good." Right? "I won't do that. I won't fall into this trap." Right? "I will not manufacture another ideal, because my workshop, where ideals would be manufactured, would be also a workshop which smells"--right?--"and which is full with coercion, and I would subject others to torture-mental or physical torture? In the good old days it was physical torture. Today it's worse: it is mental torture." Right? That's in a nutshell--right?--what he's trying to achieve. And, of course, there is no Freud, there is no Weber, and there is no Michel Foucault; there is really no modern and post-modern social theory without Nietzsche's insight. This is a radicalization of critical theory. Right? Critical theory--we talked about this, from Hegel to Marx--was a critique of consciousness; that what is in our mind is a distortion of the reality. Right? And therefore they were trying to subject human consciousness to critical scrutiny. Nietzsche does it the most radical way. He said, "I am capable to show"--right?--"the shortcomings of our consciousness, without showing you what is the right consciousness." Right? That's the project. Now Sigmund Freud has a lot of similarities with this. Right? He's also a critical theorist, and he says, "Well, what is in our mind comes very deep down from the repressed. And I will show you"--right?--"how, if this causes you neurotic responses, I can actually cure you, by the way; just I let you understand what has been repressed in your life experience, and then you can do something about yourself." So that's in a nutshell Sigmund Freud's contribution. So it basically follows closely to Nietzsche's ideas. And in the piece particularly what I asked you to read today--one of the pieces, right?--Civilization and its Discontents, he's struggling very much with the problem Nietzsche is struggling with. He shows modern civilization as repression. Right? At the same time he does not want to reject civilization. Right? And he's tormented--right?--how to evaluate civilization. Right? And well he probably is not going as far as Nietzsche, Nietzsche does. We will see that when it comes. Okay, this is Sigmund Freud. And it's good advertising: don't smoke. You have his cigar. He has actually oral cancer. He was suffering from it during the last twenty years of his life, and eventually committed suicide; and the cancer obviously had something to do with his cigars. So don't smoke. Right? Well Freud was one of the giants of nineteenth and early twentieth century thought. Many people who would name the intellectual giants of this time, nineteenth

century, would name three names: Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Right? These are the three thinkers which made us rethink ourself--who we are, where we come from, and what is the nature of the society we live in?--the most radical ways. Okay, let me talk very briefly about Freud's life. He was born in 1856, in what is now the Czech Republic, Moravia, southern part of the Czech Republic, in a small city called Freiberg. His father was a Jewish wool merchant; he was already married to his third wife-was about twenty years his junior. He was a pretty dominating figure. The mother was, on the other hand, a very sensitive human being. In some ways Freud's troubled relationship with the aging authoritarian father, and with the soft-spoken, kind, forthcoming, and warm mother, does explain a lot about his thinking about human life. Very soon after he was born, they moved away from Freiberg. First briefly they were in Leipzig and then they moved to Vienna, and this is where Sigmund Freud received his education. In 1873 he enrolled at the University of Vienna. He was studying law for awhile. He got very bored with it. So he shifted into medical school, and received his medical degree in '81, and worked in the major university hospital in Vienna, which is called General Hospital. In '85, very briefly he went to study to Paris. And this was very crucial for his change because he became interested here in neurology, and especially became interested in a therapy what French psychiatrists was use, and that was hypnosis, to treat hysteria. And sort of he came back to Vienna and he decided that he will now become a neurologist, interested particularly in hysteria, and will use hypnosis as a therapy. He also married in '86--it was a lifelong and, you know, very peaceful marriage--Martha Bernays, who was a granddaughter of the chief rabbi of Hamburg. So he's coming from a deeply Jewish family, but he himself had very little faith in his life. He began to practice psychotherapy, and he set up an office in Bergstrasse 19; 19 Bergstrasse in central Vienna. Here it is the house today where Sigmund Freud started to practice, and practiced there until 1938. And this is where psychoanalysis was born--so an important house. So after '86--right?--he began to collaborate with another psychologist, Joseph Breuer. And Breuer was not using the hypnotic method. What he did, he did something what he called "the talking cure." This is something what you occasionally do, or your friends do with you. Right? If something is on your chest, then you call your friend and you say, "I need somebody to talk to." Right? There is some real big trouble in you; you want somebody to listen. Right? Now this is exactly what Breuer did. He did ask his patients to talk to him. Right? And it

turned out that this talking cure was very effective, as you've probably all experienced. Right? When something is on your chest and you have a good friend who's willing to listen and does not rush to give you advice--right?--this is whom you want. Right? Just to listen and nod, to be sympathetic, and try to understand you and let you talk, and ask the good questions, but not to give advice. Right? That's what Breuer discovered. Well in 1895 they co-authored the book Studies in Hysteria. And now they actually in the book suggest that there must be a new therapy. Don't put people asleep but make them talk and let them freely associate, and through this free association you throw words in. And then they're beginning to freely associate to this world, you actually can uncover--they're beginning to use the term--unconscious. There is an unconscious level in each individual, and with this free association you can dip into the unconscious. And, in fact, it was Freud who, in doing this, practicing this with patients, also began to understand that a lot of stuff in the subconscious has something to do with sexuality; that it is, you know, unsatisfied, unachieved sexual desires, which are kind of repressed into the subconscious. And when, through these free associations, he was digging into the unconscious, he began to discover a lot of sexual stuff. And then one year later it is--right?--a very important day in the history of modern social thought. In 1896 he finally has a name for what he does, and he calls it psychoanalysis. And here it is. If you have not seen this picture yet, you should. This was the famous couch. That's where the patient had to lay down, and Freud was sitting in an armchair and listening to what they got to say, and asking just a couple of probing questions. But the essence of psychoanalysis is--right?--that you do not solve the problem for the patient. The patient has to find its own solution. The psychoanalysis will know what the problem is eventually, will lead you there, bring it from the subconscious into the conscious, and then it is, as it becomes conscious, you suddenly realize you can deal with it. Now about the later work, just very briefly; it's voluminous. In 1899 he published a book which is called Interpretation of Dreams. And it's to a large extent his analysis of his own dreams, but also the dreams of some of his patients. His father just passed away, and with the death of the father he had a great deal of guilt, why he had this hate feeling of his father. It was a hate/love relationship, but strongly motivated by hate. And he began to analyze himself and trying to figure out what his problem with his father was, and what his relationship with the mother and father was. And Interpretation of Dreams is a very important step in this direction. And the fundamental idea in this path-breaking book, that in fact dreams are not accidental. Dreams are the time of this little window of opportunity when some of the stuff

from the unconscious tries to come up into the conscious. So therefore what he did, he made people to remember their dreams, and then he tried to help them, from the material which was surfacing from dreams, to understand their subconscious. In 1905 there is another major breakthrough. He's publishing The Pathology of Everyday Life in which--you all know this term--the Freudian slippage; when somebody, just by accident, got something wrong, slips his tongue and says something differently than it should. Freud does show that very often it's actually also the subconscious putting his head up; and it's an indication what is in your subconscious, what is repressed in you. It was just not an error what you did. Right? Beyond these errors he can see the subconscious coming up. And then, of course, the same year another major breakthrough--probably next to the discovery of psychoanalysis, the most important breakthrough--the "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality". And now he is moving towards what some will say--call a pan-sexualist understanding of the mind. Well it's probably pushing it too far; most who are do not believe in Freud. But there are still many, many people who do believe in Freud. Right? There are people who practice psychoanalysis. You know, just ten, twenty years ago, everybody has his analyst. Right? Interestingly, I think somehow this is a little going out of fashion. But I think there are still people--you must know people--right?--who have their analyst--right?--and they go every other week to the analyst, lay down on the couch and they speak their mind, and then they're kind of relieved. Well I would say if you have problems of depression, why don't you try it? Actually I think it certainly does you less damage than taking these bloody pills, what can--no, not that psychoanalysis cannot cause you trouble. Because these psychoanalysts, of course, all know because of Freud's theory of sexuality, that all these problems in us is depressed sexual desires, and everything has to do something with our early childhood experiences; for boys, with the love of your mother, and jealousy of your father and--right?--and with girls, the other way around. Well so if you go to an analyst, in no time you will start figuring out why you really, really hate your father, or you hate your mother. And well I'm not so sure that's the best thing what can happen to you. But anyway, that's what he was doing. And he--in fact, he discovers I think an intriguing idea--and I think psychologists to this day are struggling with it, how much truth there is to it--the so-called Oedipus complex. And you know what the Oedipus complex is. King Oedipus, by accident, marries his own wife--own mother--and it turns out own mother--and that's of course a big tragedy. Right? You are not supposed to--this is incest, which is--virtually all civilizations prohibit incest. Well, and this is Oedipus complex, that we are always in love with our parents of the opposite sex, and jealous

of the other parent. Right? And the Oedipus complex also means that we have a desire to kill our father in order to have the love--in fact, sexual love--of our mother, if we are boys, and vice-versa for girls. Well I think everybody would agree this probably pushed the idea a bit too far, but there is clearly an interesting--a very important insight in the argument. Then, in the later work, he is moving more towards metapsychology. Now he tries to explain the functioning of society, rather than just individual psyche. The first major step in this direction is 1913, when he published the book Totem and Taboo. And this is about the origins of a fairly primitive society--the transformation from a kinship network to a tribal, larger tribal society. And he explains in this book the origins of first complex society as the brothers come together and they kill their father. And the father exercised in the kinship relationship absolute power. And in fact he also believed that in these early kinship-based societies, there was even no incest taboo. So the father actually could have sex with his daughters as well. Now the brothers come together, they kill the father, and they create the first civilization. They're beginning to repress desires and share power among themselves. That's Totem and Taboo. Then he writes two important conceptual pieces, "Beyond the Pleasure Principle", 1920, and "Ego and Id". And I asked you to read some of it, 1923, which are kind of important conceptual elements. And I think this all cumulated in his Civilization and its Discontents, 1930, which arguably, if you are not interested in individual psychology but the theory of society, this is his most important book. It was a very big success and has not been out of print ever since. '38, he has to leave Vienna. He had a similar hate/love relationship to the city of Vienna as towards his father, as many people did. But by '38, the Nazis took it over. Gestapo actually interviewed his daughter, beloved daughter, Anna, and sort of he saw the writing on the wall. It's time to leave; if you are Jewish, you don't want to live in the Third Reich. And he moves to London, and just a year later he actually commits suicide. It is an assisted suicide. His doctor helped him to get rid of the pain he was struggling with for a very long time. Well, a bit about the psychoanalytic movement. Freud's ideas were, of course, outrageous ideas, very controversial. Nevertheless very early on, already in 1902, there were a group of very young and able people, which included people like Sandor Ferenczi and Carl Jung and Ernest Jones, who wrote a wonderful biography of--the definite biography--of Freud. If you want, of course, a very pro-Freudian perspective, but read it, it's a great book indeed. And they start together, in Bergstrasse 19, in Vienna, every Wednesday. This was called the Wednesday Psychological Circle.

Then in 1908 this becomes the Vienna Psychological Society--a bit of a misnomer because in no time it's beginning to spread around the world. And there are psychoanalytic societies all over the world, until this very day. And if you want to become an analyst, it's not enough to have a medical degree; you have to go through years of very rigorous training, what these psychoanalytic societies will monitor. Freud was also a very difficult person to get along. He basically had fallouts with everybody. First, probably the most important of his early associates, Adler; already in 1911 they break up. Then with Jung. Adler, Jung; next to Adler are the dominant figures of psychology in the first two or three decades of the twentieth century. Then even later on he breaks with Ferenczi, who was a pretty loyal guy, was not easy to get a fallout with him, but Freud managed this one. He could make enemies everywhere. Okay, then really the person who was running the show became his daughter, Anna Freud, who lived a long life and held up the torch and carried the cause of psychoanalysis. So let me have a look at the book on The Ego--not Ergo, I'm sorry, it's The Ego and the Id. Right? This is a Freudian slippage, right? I have to correct this one. Well there are, he said-here is beginning to move. The initial idea is there is subconscious or unconscious and conscious elements what constitute the human sexuality. And now he wants to have a clearer conceptual apparatus to deal with this. And he has, well our perception system has three components. One is the ego, the other one is id, and the third one is superego. And we will deal with all of this. Right? And therefore what is interesting, what is the interaction between ego, id and superego. And Discontents and Civilization deals with this a great deal. He's also talking about the two classes of instincts, what guides life, and that's also important forCivilization and its Discontents. Well he said initially we made a distinction between the conscious and the unconscious. And the idea of unconscious came from the theory of repression, that we have unconscious because some of the experiences we do not recall; for instance, our sexual desire towards our mother, which was prohibited, it's pushed into our subconscious; and other unpleasant experiences in our life we want to forget and we put into subconscious. That's repression. We repress undesired experience. Here unconscious--right?--coincided with what is latent and what wants to become conscious, wants to enter the conscious. It's only suppressed, and it is psychoanalysis which helps you to bring this into consciousness. But he said, "well all that is repressed is unconscious." That's quite true. You know? If you had bad memories, you tend to forget it and put it into the unconscious. But--the big discovery was--but not all that is unconscious is necessarily repressed. There are stuff in the unconscious which was there before it was in consciousness.

He said the later, which is unconscious only descriptively, not dynamically--dynamically meant it was depressed. But there is an element of subconscious which is there only descriptively. Right? This is what he called preconsciousness; before--it was never in the conscious. Right? It is just deep down in you. And well and he said, "We restrict the term unconscious to the dynamically unconscious repressed." And now the two, this repressed unconscious and the preconscious, together will constitute, I suppose, the id. Now we can now turn, have different concepts now, Freud said, conscious, preconscious and unconscious, and the question is what is the relationship between those? So what is ego? He said, "Each individual, there is a coherent organization of the mental process, and this is what we call ego." Right? Well it is to this ego that consciousness is attached. What is consciousness in us is what is ego. He said, "It is also a mental agency"--right?-"which supervises and constitutes the process of thinking"; he said, "which goes to sleep, but, at the same time, exercises control even over your dreams." That's your ego. And the ego is the agents of repression. The ego will repress stuff which is in the way of the ego to act, that will push it into the unconscious. Well he said, "Therefore our therapy was to try to bring into the ego what was unconscious"--right?--"and what was repressed." But there is something else which is not repressed, which also has a very important drive, and this is id. Right? Id is what is deeply down in your--those desires, the drives which come out of you. And they are not--some of it is not, has never been repressed. It is just by nature in you, for instance sexual drives. Right? "So I propose to call the entity, which starts out from the system preconscious and begins by the preconscious, the ego, and call the other part of the mind, into which this entity extends and which behaves through it as if it were unconscious, the id." It's unconscious but not repressed; or a combination of repressed and preconscious. Well he said, "The ego is very sharply separated from the id. It's really the id is below the ego." And that's a very--this is probably the best to grasp, what he said: "The ego's relationship to the id is like a man on a horseback"--right?--"after the rider is obliged to guide the horse where the horse wants to go." Right? This is the id. Right? So the ego will be on the horse--the horse is the id--but occasionally if you don't want to follow the horse, you let the horse go where the horse wants to go. Right? You try to control the horse, but there is so much you can do, about the horse. It's a very important idea in mature Freud. And then there comes the superego. Right? He said, "The ego is not merely a part of the id." Right? "There also exists a grade in the ego which may be called the ego-ideal, or the superego." Right? And the part of this ego is firmly connected to the consciousness. And well

the superego--right?--is the, he said, "is part residue of earlier object choices of the id, but it represents an energetic reaction formation against those choices." It is what tells you what you should be, not what you are. The ego tells you who you are. Right? The ego tests the world of reality and tests what you can achieve under the conditions of reality. Right? The superego is that part of your consciousness which actually will tell you that what you should be. Right? Adam Smith, you remember Adam Smith, the theory of moral sentiment. There is somebody inside of you who is watching you and makes a judgment on you whether this is right or wrong. The idea of superego is very similar--right?--to this Adam Smithian idea. Well psychoanalysis, he said, was criticized for ignoring the higher values in human life and talking only about sex and so on and so forth. He said, "This is all wrong; we are very aware of the existence of the superego. And there is a complex interaction between ego, id and superego." Well the ego is essentially repressive. It essentially represents the external reality, the external world as such. The superego, on the other hand, represents the internal world, your own view what you would want to be, though you cannot be, partially because your drives are dirty--right?--and your ego does not let you to achieve that. Right? So actually what belonged to the lowest part of the mental life--right?--this suppressed stuff, is turned into what is the highest in the human mind--right?--the superego. Well there are also two classes of instincts. One instinct, what he discovered early in the work, is what he calls libido--right?--the sexual desire and the desire to live and survive and self-preservation. But there is another instinct in us; he discovers it somewhat later in life, and this is the death instinct, Thanatos. So there are Eros and Thanatos. One is what makes us live. The other is destructive, wants to bring us to death. And the human life and the human history can be understood as a struggle between the Eros and Thanatos, as such. Sadism is a good example of Thanatos, he said. Okay, let me move to Civilization and Discontents. And there are the major highlights: about ego development, religion and purposes of life. Civilization as restriction of sexual life. About ego development. There is not that much I have to add or interpret here. Well he said the ego eventually evolves in us; it's not just given in us. Right? It's sharply differentiated. I can say, "This person has a strong ego." You present your ego very strongly, and your id is being hidden from, if I can put it with Erving Goffman,--right?--the id is in the back stage. You don't show it--right?--the id, but what you want to present is your ego. But this evolves gradually--right?--in the process of human development. You can see as ego gradually develops in a child and takes the form as it is.

And one important process in this, as you move away from the pleasure principles to the reality principle. Right? "Is there a purpose of human life?", he asks. "Well only religion can answer, talk to you about the purpose of life. I, as a psychologist or a social analyst or social scientist, I cannot tell you what the purpose of life is." What is the purpose of life now? He comes very close to the utilitarian idea. Right? We almost hear John Stuart Mill speaking to him. Happiness; we are all striving to be happy. Right? But unfortunately the problem is it is much easier to be unhappy than to be happy. Right? And, because we are confronted with the problems, that in fact unhappiness is much likely to be our fate than achieve what we want to be, happiness. This pleasure principle is transformed into a reality principle. We say, "Well, that is the reality what we have to accept." And we have to escape this. We need to have this reality principle to bring our unhappiness under control. To be able to survive the sufferings, we have to have a sense of reality. And this is the taming of the ego. This now becomes very close to Nietzsche, as close as Freud ever will be. Right? And the sublimation of instincts--that's all what civilization is all about. Right? The feeling of happiness is derived from the satisfaction of wild intellectual impulses, untamed by the ego. The blond beast--right?--that's where the real pleasure comes from. But it has to be tamed. Right? Here it comes. Right? Very much the Nietzschean idea. And this is happening through the--if you want to escape it, then you do it, you become maniac, or intoxicated. If you cannot face the reality, then you drink. Right? It was too much, so I go to the pub and I order a double scotch--right?--and then I relax. Right? Intoxication is the way how to avoid reality; I get drunk. Many people get drunk. A very bad idea because actually it will make it worse. Your unhappiness, as soon as the first few minutes of happiness is past, will be just worse. Well, and another way to do it is sublimation--right?--of the instinct--to suppress and ennoble in some ways these instincts that were--actually you move into the sphere of fantasies; you fantasize rather than live out your depressed desires. And this is the mechanism of fantasy, which creates art and science; and the most noble human activities are actually sublimated unsatisfied desires--right?--which came from the ego--came from the id; the ego confronted with reality and then suppressed it, and then was sublimated into these higher elements. Well he has a very nice quotation from Goethe on an unpublished poem, and not surprisingly unpublished. This says: "The people who have science and art also do have religion. Those who do not have either science or art have to have religion." Well it's a very interesting idea. In fact, I don't think it is totally obvious how you have to interpret it, especially the first part. I think there's a way one can interpret the first sentence: Wer Wissenschaft und Kunst Besitzt

hat auch Religion. It basically means well, you know, science and art is a sort of a religion, and if you are actually a scientist or an artist, you have your religion; you even don't have to be religious. But if you have no science or no art, in order to make sense of the life you need religion. Right? And that's--I think it's not surprising that he never published the poem. Well Freud pushes far. He's also anti-religious, and he said well indeed religion is just mass delusion, because it does create the impression--right?--that you can actually mold reality; that there is purpose of life--probably not on this earth but beyond that--and you will be able to achieve that. That's why he calls it 'mass delusion'. You don't confront reality. Right? You do not develop your reality principle sufficiently. And, of course, he also calls this infantile; infantile because you create the figure of the god, the father god. And he said this is exactly the young infant's reaction how to respond to danger, and the reality, to hope that you will get protections from your father. And he said this is exactly what religions are calling upon. My--you know, when you address God as "My Father." Okay, there are different sources of unhappiness. First of all the nature is a source of our unhappiness--is superior. And one part of nature is particularly a source of unhappiness: our own body. And, you know, if you are getting sick and old, like Freud did, you will appreciate more and more how much unhappiness comes from your body; what you don't necessarily feel right now, but wait fifty more years and you will. Okay, and there is--the biggest unhappiness actually comes from human relations. It's again something which resembles very much the young Marx--alienation, as alienated from your fellow human beings. And, of course, very much to Nietzsche--right?--that the problem is in human relations. Well now the question is how on earth we can solve this problem of human relations? And because we have this big problem--right?--in human relations, people start blaming civilization, like Nietzsche did. And well but he said it is, in fact, conceivable that man in earlier ages, rather than in modernity, actually were happier than they are today. Well yes, noble savages--right?--the happiness in the state of nature, Rousseau. He said, "Well that's not an unreasonable argument." But how does civilization develop? Well he said--suggests, he's proceeding towards more and more control over the external world, but also towards extension of the number of people included in the community; therefore more and more control over other people. Right? This is sort of civilization is a technology, how to be able to control more people; control nature and more people. Yes, we already talked about Totem and Taboo. You will see these on the

internet. Anyway, all culture, all civilizations, are coming from repression. And this is a very important insight; very similar to Nietzsche's critique--right?--of morality. And in particular civilization restricts sexual life. Well the important aim of civilization, to bring many people together into a society. And the limit of uninhabited [correction: he meant uninhibited] sexual love. Right? It restricts sexual life. He said this was--the high mark was reached in Western European civilization. It's again almost--you read almost Nietzsche--right?--here. A choice of an object is restricted to the opposite sex, and most extra-genital satisfactions are forbidden as perversion. But even heterosexual genital love is restricted. Only sexual relationship, on the basis of solitary, indissoluble bond between one man and one woman is what is accepted in Western civilization, not in other civilization. And that is the most repressive system of sexuality. Right? Well--right? And there is actually more to it, rather than repression of sexuality. You know? It has to restrict all other kind of drives which is coming from the id. It teaches you--right?--to love your neighbor and even your enemy, which is in his view--right?--impossible. But well we have to control somehow aggressivity. Homo homini lupus; man is the wolf of man. Right? This is kind of Hobbesian theory of human nature--deeply down we are actually. There is also a critique of Marx. Marx thinks there is an easy solution. You eliminate private ownership and homo homini lupus will be solved. He said this is nave, this does not happen. Well I don't have time to work on this, though it's a very interesting idea: Nazism, and why you dislike particularly which is close to you. Well I think I'll probably just have to leave this here, and just finish with the note suggesting that he is actually very troubled. He shows the repressive nature of civilization, but he does not want to buy into the Nazi anti-civilization. Right? And he said, "Well I am not suggesting the superego is not necessary--superego is necessary--but I'm concerned about the superego to be tyrannical." Right? "And let's try to find a middle way"--right?--"in which let's not be nave. The id gives bad impulses and they have to be controlled by the superego, but the superego can go too far and too much." So kind of tries to walk a narrow way between Marx and Nietzsche. All right? Thank you.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 16 Transcript October 27, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Now also I would like to spend a couple of minutes kind of wrapping up some issues about the four authors, what we covered in the test--right?--Marx, Nietzsche, Freud and Weber, just to help you to get an overall sense--right?--what the bottom line is, and what the similarities and differences are. And then I'll go into Max Weber. There's a lot I want to cover today. Would love to talk a lot about his life; I won't have time. I could give you a lot of nice and juicy stories, what I have, but unfortunately I have to withhold myself. Okay, so the four authors. There is one important common feature in all four authors, and somewhat distinct from the theorists we studied so far. In one way or another, all four of them call be called critical theorists. That means they all offer critical analysis of what is in your mind. They say, "What is in your mind is not necessarily what you think it is. Let's subject your consciousness to critical scrutiny." I think all four do share this argument. Right? Marx certainly, with the idea that well the dominant ideas of each epoch are the ideas of the

dominant class, and therefore you think what is in your mind is your idea. "Tell me what your class position is and I will tell you where your ideas are coming from." Right? Now this is Nietzsche's project. He said, "Well, you think this is morality? I will show the immorality of morality, what you think is moral." Right? This is certainly Freud. "You think this is your ideas? Well lay on my couch and talk to me, and I will--you will recall all these early sexual experiences in your life, and then you will realize what--who you really are." Well, you know, Weber is a little more complicated, but he also has this idea of legitimacy and domination--with some later Marxist people on this. And the fundamental idea of Weber is coming also from Nietzsche. And the fundamental idea is that we actually do internalize the very principles of our submission. That's what legitimacy, at least in my interpretation, in Weber is. There is domination. Right? And therefore Weber also helps you to understand-right?--where these ideas are coming from, and to what extent you yourself are your own jail keeper. Right? That's sort of mine--a little post-modernist reading of Max Weber. So these are--in this way they are all critical theorists. Right? They are critiques of consciousness. But there are fundamental differences between the four authors. And in some ways there is a similarity between Marx and Freud. Marx and Freud all take their point of departure in their project to be critical of consciousness for sensuous human experience. Right? Material reality. In one way or another they are both materialists. Right? Of course, for Marx it is reductionist, because this sensuous human experience is reduced to the economy. "You tell me what your position in the economic system are, then I understand what your economic interests are. You are behaving and you are thinking according to your economic interests, and then I will understand what is on your mind." Well, by the way, it's not all that different--right?--from Adam Smith and rationally acting individuals. Marx has some similarities. Only he offers it critically, while Adam Smith offered it affirmatively. But that is Marx's reductionism; that what is sensuous experience is reduced to the economy. And then he also has an agency; that's the big, unique feature of Marx's theory. He knows what good society is; does not describe in much detail, but has an idea about good society. And he knows who the historical agent is, who will lead us there. I mean, many of you were probably turned off by his vision of the future. But the strength of the theory is that he has a vision of good society, and he knows how to get there. So those of you who are looking for answers, Karl Marx does have answers for you. Right? Now what about Freud? He does not quite have answers to you. Right? When you are lying on his couch--right?--he helps you to discover the repressed desires in yourself, and then it

will help you to get rid of your depression, anxieties, hysteria, or whatever you are suffering from. Right? But it will be up to you--right?--to somehow figuring out what is repressed in you. He only will help you to find it. Right? Does he have a very clearly defined good society? He has sort of ambiguous attitudes about this. Right? Civilization, modern civilization. Well, this is coming from repression. Civilization has a lot to do how people are being controlled. On the other hand, he knows out of the id a lot of nasty, aggressive stuff is coming from, and they have to be repressed. So he has a kind of ambiguous attitude. He does not want to go against civilization, but he sees the dark side of civilization at the same time. Now what is common in Nietzsche and Weber, that they all depart from this idea--right?--that it is sensuous experiences from which you have to understand--right?--what's wrong with your consciousness. Their central concern is power--right?--power and domination. It is not the economy, it is not sexuality; it is power. And interestingly in some ways, therefore, they probably reach back all the way to Hobbes--right?--that all history of humankind is struggle around power. Well this is the most radically done by Nietzsche, because what Nietzsche is doing--right?--he shows you how the most noble ideas, what you have in your mind, are actually manufactured--right?--in the workshop of ideals, in very nasty ways, by coercion-right?--by torture. And he shows you this instrument of coercion. If the history of the museum--historical museum of Marx is filled up with the means of production; you go into a museum, you can see the life-right?--how people lived, what their house was, what the instruments were they produced their livelihood. You see this in a lot of contemporary museums, which are not Marxist, but still inspired by this Marxian idea. Nietzsche's museum? Well you will find guillotines. Right? You will find all these instruments of torture. That's human history, the history of torture. And that's where is an interesting similarity between Weber and Nietzsche; namely, that the history of humankind is evolution, but this evolution has its downside. Our bodies may not be tortured any longer in modern civilization, but our souls are kept hostage. That's the bad news. Right? Now I think that's, in a nutshell, I think the kind of similarities and differences of the four authors we covered for this test. And I don't think I have more time to deal with this. So let's now go to Max Weber. And I am actually very sensitive. Somebody asked a question whether on the test the question on domination should be there? I will be thinking very hard about this. In fact, if you still have--very much dislike questions, send me an email and I will try to take this into consideration. Okay, so this is Max Weber. Born in 1864 and died in 1920. Well nowadays with flu shots, he would not have died. He just died of pneumonia. He probably would have lived longer. Fortunately he did not, because he did not live Nazism,

and we do not have to ask the unpleasant question, would have Max Weber turned into be a Nazi? I doubt, but there are some who believe he might have, and we will talk about this later on. So a word about the Max Weber's family. This is a Protestant family who lived in the city of Salzburg, which was in the Hapsburg Empire. It was actually an independent city, ruled by an archbishop--a very Catholic city. And by the late-eighteenth century, this archbishop started to take the counterreformation too seriously. So therefore those who were not Roman Catholic better left. So did the Weber family, and they moved to Germany, in the Rhineland, and they settled in Bielefeld, and they set up a textile manufacturing business, which operated pretty good. Weber's father, Max senior, was the younger of two sons. And the family business, though it was doing okay, was not enough to support two families. Therefore he was asked to learn some trade. So he actually entered civil service and became a politician and civil servant. Max Weber himself was born in '64 in Erfurt, in the eastern part of Germany, where his father was stationed at that time. And his mother was Helene Fallenstein; a very sensitive, wonderful woman. There were eight brothers and sisters--a big family, and quite a family. Here you have the three brothers: Max on the left, and the middle, Alfred Weber. Alfred Weber was quite a scholar. He was a younger brother of Max, and he was a very prominent economist, philosopher and sociologist, but primarily economist, who was well known for the theory of industrial location, in his times. He was a professor at University of Heidelberg. He did not turn into a Nazi. He was actually laid off by the Nazis, and re-instituted in 1945. Those of you who study in economics industrial relation theory may have come across the name of Alfred Weber. He was actually the famous Weber. Max Weber was less famous in his time than Alfred. Now Max Weber's mother was Helene, as I said. She was a wonderful lady. She was a devote Calvinist--so now you can understand the role of Calvinism and the Protestant Ethic in Weber--and was also greatly interested in philanthropy. And that's where Weber's social sensitivity is coming from. There was a great deal of conflict between the sensitive Helene and Max senior, who was a very authoritarian, paternalistic figure--a very unpleasant guy. Politically also extremely conservative, and they had quite a bit of conflict with each other. Early in his life, Max sided with his father--did what Freud said you will do, when you would overcome your Oedipus complex, you identify with your father. Okay, this is what he did. But then he actually shifted and eventually sided with his mother.

Well this is the father. Well I would not have liked him as my father. He was a conservative politician, a very patriarchal figure. He started in the municipality as a civil servant in Erfurt. Then became actually a deputy of the National Liberal Party, which had very little to do with liberalism. It was a conservative party. This was under the chancellorship of Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor--real conservative times in Germany. Now about Weber's life. He studied in Heidelberg and then in Berlin. He studied both law and agrarian history. Actually he was somewhere between a legal theorist, a historian, and an economist; he was kind of sociologist last. In [18]'92, he married Marianne Schnitger, who was a kind of second-cousin. I will come back to this relationship later on. In '95, he was appointed professor of economics at Freiberg, and then he moved to Heidelberg, where he basically spent the rest of his life. He also became professor of political science. He was involved early in his life in very feverish academic activities. He published two Ph.D. dissertations, one in law and one in history. The law Ph.D. was on commercial law in Medieval Italy, and the history was on agrarian history in Rome. Both books were published; and they are actually not in English. A later version of the agrarian history was published in Germany. '97, he suffered a very serious nervous breakdown. I would love to talk in detail about this. By all likelihood it had a lot to do with his conflict with his father. Just during the summer of '97, the mother visited--he visited the parents in Berlin, and then the mother said, "Well I want to visit you in Heidelberg." And then the father said, "No, you can't, because I need you here." Right? "Who will cook my breakfast?" And then Max Weber, who was always subservient and obedient to the father, revolted, and he said, "Father, you can't do that. If Mother wants to visit us, she should be allowed to visit us." And this happened the first time that Max Weber said no to the father. Well the father passed away within two or three months, and just after the death of the father Weber had a very serious nervous breakdown. Well, no one knows exactly what it had to do with the death of the father, but there is certainly a correlation between the two facts. It was actually a very serious disease. He was lucky to be married to a wonderful and extremely smart woman, Marianne--they married earlier--and Marianne was a great help for him to recover from this nervous breakdown. For five years Weber could not teach, could not write, could not read. He was just sitting in the corner staring out of himself. Marianne took him to travels. They went to Italy and eventually he recovered. '92 [correction: Prof. Szelnyi meant to say 1902], he's coming out of his nervous breakdown and returns to Heidelberg, though he never really took on very regular teaching duties anymore.

1904, he had his only trip to the USA. He went to the St. Louis World Fair and wrote a wonderful paper at that time. And then in 1906--again, I wish I would have more time to talk about the Richthofen sisters. This is a great story. Anyway, he obviously falls in love with Elsa von Richthofen. Else von Richthofen was actually the wife of a good friend and colleague of Weber, Jaff, a major political social theorist. Well this is a very important event in Weber's life. It lasts until his death. It is actually not Marianne who is standing by his deathbed, but Else von Richthofen. Interestingly, Else and Marianne were very good friends. Again, I cannot resist to give you a little gossip. But the best as we know, the marriage with Marianne was never consumed. So this affair with Else von Richthofen is really the first real fulfilled erotic experience in Weber's life, and has a lot to do, I think, in Weber's changing thinking about life and modernity--the rediscovery of the power of eroticism. Then he has been doing work on religion. This is mainly a response to criticism he got for his book--we will be talking in a minute about The Protestant Ethic--and he tries to defend his work on The Protestant Ethic by looking at various world religions, and shows that rationalization did not take place in these religions as much as it happened in Christianity. And then he's working on his opus magnum,Economy and Society; what he never finished. Died in 1920. Well this is Else von Richthofen, Mrs. Jaff. She came from a very prominent German family. There were three very prominent and very beautiful Richthofen sisters. As I said, Else was the wife of Edgar Jaff. Her sister, Frieda von Richthofen, had a long and very passionate relationship, eventual marriage, with D.H. Lawrence. And probably many of you in high school have read D.H. Lawrence and Sons and Lovers. Sons and Lovers was inspired by Frieda van Richthofen. It was a very turbulent, complicated relationship. Well this is Weber in Heidelberg--last time in his life. The early work in Weber was mainly in antiquity. In 1903 and 4, he writes The Protestant Ethic. Then the big world religions, China, India and Judaism. And then finally Economy and Society, an unfinished manuscript. This is the First Edition of The Protestant Ethic. Well I think I'll probably skip this one, because I will talk to The Protestant Ethic later. Well this is the Weber's house in Heidelberg. As you can see, University of Heidelberg treated their professors quite nice. Well Marianne was running a salon in this house, with an extraordinary intellectual circle around them. This is Marianne Weber. She was, as I said, a wonderful woman. He was actually a kind of secondcousin. Her grandfather was the brother of Max Weber's father. She was also a formidable intellectual. Her book, Wives and Mothers in the Evolution of Law, was a great success. mile

Durkheim reviewed the book. And at that time Marianne was much more famous than Max Weber was. Max turned quite nationalistic, as many other Germans during the First World War. But then his experiences of the horrors of the First World War, and partially I think the relationship with Else von Richthofen, turns him from a committed liberal who just had nothing else to say but approving things about modernity--somebody who is called "a liberal in despair". He remains liberal for his life. He will always say that capitalism is the only viable system we can live in; modernity has no alternative. But he's beginning increasingly to show the downside of this modernity. He said, "I cannot come up with anything better. But it should not prevent me to see the disenchantment, the loss of magic, in the modern world, and the horrors of the modern world." We will talk about this later on. He actually--nationalism had an impact on him--he actually was part of the delegation at the Versailles Peace Treaty, and he was responsible for inserting Article 48 into the Weimar Constitution, which unfortunately was used for Hitler to gain power in 1933. I mean, not that Weber can-- shall be held responsible for Nazism, but this is something I have to share with you. Well the last work, Economy and Society, is mainly a theory of domination, and we will talk about next week what domination is. He basically combines power, which is legitimated, as the concept of domination. And what he does, he develops a theory of human history as subsequent types of dominations; a major departure from Marx. Right? That social history not describes subsequent modes of production, but different types of domination. Okay, so that was the life and work of Max Weber. And now let's turn into The Protestant Ethic; and try to do this in twenty minutes, which will not be easy. Okay. So this is--as he recovers from the nervous breakdown, his first major book is The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. And that's in many ways a major departure. Before the nervous breakdown, Weber is an enthusiast pro-capitalist and proliberal. His major concern before 1897 is what blocks the development in the eastern part of Germany, and how those forces which block the development of capitalism can be overcome. He's very much a liberal in the sense of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill. Then he has his nervous breakdown, and the person who is emerging looks like a person who has been thinking about Nietzsche--right?--by staring ahead of himself a great deal, and that's beginning to show already in The Protestant Ethic. Well he was working at a time when Marxism was the dominant intellectual force in Germany. The Social Democratic Party in Germany was gaining ground and beginning to do extremely well--at elections as well. And therefore, in my reading, Max Weber's project is to

challenge Marxism in fundamental ways. And The Protestant Ethic is a first and major step in the direction to challenge Marxism. So what is the Marx-Weber debate? If you are interested in it, I will teach a seminar next semester which will only deal with this slide, what I am presenting here to you. But you will be asked to read a lot of text from Marx and Weber. Well historical materialism--right?--suggests that it's only economic forces which explain history. Weber said, "Look, ideas matter too. You cannot deduce ideas and cultural features from economic conditions." Also, Marx has no problem what motivates human beings: survival, economic interests. Weber said, "No, we are not only motivated by economic interests, we are also motivated by tradition; we can be motivated by values." He has a more complex notion of human motivation. Then, as I mentioned, history cannot be described as subsequent modes of production. What changes is the nature of power; the different type of motivation. What changes from time to time historically, how people, in position of power, what kind of claims do they make for you to obey, and how you internalize--right?--the principles of your subordination. And he develops these different types of authorities. Right? Three major types: traditional authority, charismatic authority, and put it liberal authority, legal- rational authority. This is his somewhat awkward term to describe the liberal system, what we would call liberalism. And finally class. Weber uses the term of class, but he said they are not based--you should not identify class on property relationship, but on marketplaces, and Marx made an error by believing that class has always existed in history. Class is a new phenomenon which emerges only with modern marketing integrated economies; market economies. All right, what are the major themes in The Protestant Ethic? He starts with a rather uninteresting part. He offers some empirical evidence there is a correlation between being rich and being Protestant. Well this is no proof of causality; it's a kind of prima facie evidence, what he does. I think that's probably the weakest part of the book. Then he asks the question, what is the spirit of capitalism? What is the worldview of capitalism? Then he looks at Luther's conception of calling, and what it has to do with the spirit of capitalism. Then he looks at the religious foundations of worldly, "this-worldly asceticism", and how Reformation brings this by; and, in particular, the interpretation of it in Calvinism, and the teaching of predestination. Okay, so these are the crucial issues. So the religious stratification and affiliation and social stratification. As I said, this is the weaker part of the book. You really should do it, if you read the whole book, as prima facie evidence. There is something going on here. Look at the data, and it turns out that Protestant countries were probably ahead of Catholic countries in capitalism. And look at the very

wealthy people, and you will see more Protestant than Catholics. Well not a very forceful argument. He himself is a bit unclear about this, because he does not quite know what causes what. Is this somehow people, Protestants inherited more wealth, or because they are Protestant they can create more wealth? But, you know, if you are looking at American history, there is certainly prima facie evidence for this. Right? Think about nineteenth century United States. Right? It was WASP: white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant. Right? And then there were the poor people coming in. And who were they were? The Irish and the Italian. And what was their religion? Roman Catholic. Right? So I think if you are thinking in nineteenth century, late nineteenth-century U.S., the kind of empirical evidence is, you know, pretty persuasive. But otherwise, of course, I don't think this would stand up for scrutiny. But I think this is just to start the argument. Now comes the more serious one. What is the spirit of capitalism? And this is--there are two important points he makes. He says, "What is unique about capitalism, that the greed is turned into an ethical imperative." And the other one is that the essence of capitalism is rationalism and calculation. Well greed turned into an ethical imperative. A very interesting point, because as we have seen Marx does not offer any explanation why on earth suddenly the capitalists start accumulating capital. Marx does not have a theory to explain the motivation of original accumulation of capital. He only said original accumulation of capital is a kind of theft--right?--and once you have capital, you don't have to assume theft. But, you know, the original accumulation comes close to theft. But he does not explain why on earth people beginning to accumulate capital. And Weber said, "Well this is interesting." Because in most history, people like us, who are working day and night, and, you know, you put our little money in 401(k)s or whatever, and, you know, try to put a little money in the stock market. You know, most people, in most human history, they would say, "These people are jerks. Why don't they relax? Now they have enough to eat, they should have fun." And most of you in this room will probably never have much fun. Right? You will be working day and night to make more money. Where does it come from? He said this is unique for capitalism. This is unique for modernity, because greed, to become rich, became an ethical imperative. Right? That is the essence. And he said it has a lot to do with rationalization of modernity. And we will see it will have a lot to do with Calvinism, and predestination, and Luther's notion of calling. Well this is the point what I said, right? Pre-capitalist man actually could not understand us. Right? They had to work day and night because they needed it in order to survive. But once they had enough food to eat, and they had shelter, they were not running after money any

longer. Right? This is something which is unique for modern man. "The capitalist system needs this devotion to the calling to make money." Right? It is for us an ethical imperative. You know? Well to what extent predestination, I don't know. But if you are very rich you will say, "Well I have to get richer, because I am doing good by becoming rich, because I'm creating jobs for others. What a good person I am." Right? That's why you want to become rich, to be--to create jobs for others. Now calculation--this is absolutely crucial for Weber. He said, "Well capitalism begins with rational economic calculation, which did not exist before capitalist times." Well he kind of departs here from Adam Smith, for whom rational calculation was always there. People were just not rational. Weber said now this is a uniquely historical phenomenon, that we're beginning to calculate effort and return against to each other. And we invent double bookkeeping. Right? This is what we spend in terms of money and our energy, and this is our return, this is our profit which appears. So rational economic calculation is the key of our capitalist spirit. Right? These are the two things. That in order to work hard and to make money makes you a good person. Right? It's an altruistic act that you can become rich. And second, you are capitalist if you make rational bookkeeping. Right? If you don't keep, you know, your incomes and expenditures, you are doing something wrong; you are not a real capitalist. Right? So in order--keep in mind, you know, you have to keep your checks balanced. Right? You always have to know how much you spend and how much you have. And rationalism--there's a big tendency for history that we are becoming increasingly rationalized. Right? And he said, "Only nave historical materialism assumes that ideas originate as reflection of economic situation." He said, "The spirit of capitalism was present before the capitalist order." You had to invent rationalism and rational calculation before you could have capital accumulation and capitalism as such. Now here you come, Luther's conception of calling. One very important issue is this is a thisworldly view. It's a big change from Medieval Catholic theology. Luther coined the term Beruf in translating the Bible into German. And the term Beruf has multiple meanings. In English I think it is quite well translated as calling; though not quite, because in German Beruf has the very pedestrian, simple meaning of occupation. So if you are filling out a questionnaire, a German language questionnaire, for the line 'occupation' stands 'Beruf'. But Beruf is also a call. Ruf is to call, in German. So Beruf is that you--God calls you. Right? You got a ruf, you got a call. Right? God calls you. Right? You are needed. You have to do something for God. This is Beruf.

And what is God calling you? To perform well in your occupation. So while in medieval asceticism the essence of life was afterlife. Right? You were a saint when you withdraw from your life. You hardly ate anything. You become a saint because all what you eat is an egg a day, and you still survive. Right? This is sainthood, in the Medieval Roman Catholic sense. Now this is no good any longer. Luther said you have to be active in this life, in your occupation. That's when you are a saint, not when you withdraw yourself from life and wait for afterlife. Right? This is the big innovation of Luther and theology. Sort of therefore-right?--what God wants you is to fulfill your duties in this world--right?--rather than to be a saint, not to consume, withdraw, and so on and so forth. Okay. Now let's move on. But Luther is also a traditional theorist [correction: theologian], and Weber notes that. In fact, his emphasis on Beruf means that you have to perform in the job what you have, in the social position what you have. This is not a theory for change. It is a theory for the reproduction of the status quo. And Luther actually stood up against the peasant revolutions in Germany of his time and sided with political conservatives. And therefore Weber suggests that this nondynamic view of history made it impossible for Lutheranism to become the real moving force, and therefore it remained too traditionalistic, and that's why you needed Calvinism. And why Calvinism? Well the big change in modernity, that magic is being eliminated. What was magic? That we have power over God; we could force God to do something for us. Right? There were prescriptions what we do, and these were magical means by which you have magic-- you know, the magician comes, rain doesn't come; the magician does its tricks and rain will come. Right? That's magic. Now in order to rationalize the world, you have to get rid of magic. The world becomes rationalized. You understand where the rain is coming from, and you know there is hardly anything you can do to make it rain. Right? So this is elimination of magic. And this is what you see in a Calvinist church. You walk into the Calvinist church, they don't have any pictures of saints; you know, it has a coldness of rationalism--right?--in a Presbyterian church. And what is the most important element of Calvinism is the theory of predestination. And that's a very interesting teaching. Calvin assumed--and this is basically to try radically to get rid of any notion of magic--that in fact whether you will be saved or you perish was decided upon your birth by God; there is nothing you can do about this. So therefore, you know, in Medieval Roman Catholic churches this is what Luther was revolting against. Unfortunately there were some corrupt Roman Catholic priests who said, "You know what? Give me a little money, and if you give me money, then you will go to heaven, rather than to hell." Right? So people could buy their way into salvation. Now Calvin said, "No way. You can't do

anything." Not only not giving money to the priest, which was obviously corrupt and the church never approved it; it was just kind of corrupt practices of individuals. But he said, "There is nothing you can do in life, because it has been predestined." The big question is how on earth this teaching actually can create the Protestant work ethic? Why do we work hard, if it has been decided, pre-decided, before us that we will perish or will be saved? Well this will come out actually from the preachings of Calvinist ministers; actual practices, pastoral practices. They said, "Well, you know, you are--" Well this is a town of Puritanism, that was really a place-right?--of predestination. New Haven was created by them. You start teaching. Then you will say, "Well are you concerned whether you go to hell or heaven? You are, aren't you?" Right? You don't want to burn all your life. You want to know whether you go to heaven. Well there is one way to do it. Work hard, and if your work will be rewarded, this will be a sign that God loves you and you will go to heaven. So therefore you are working hard, not in order to buy your way into heaven, but in order to have the sign of God that you are on the right trajectory and you will go to heaven. Well he said unfortunately this Protestant ethic to work hard, to save--Benjamin Franklin, he said, "Benjamin Franklin"--right?--"you are gone in modern capitalism." Because now--the Puritans, you know, wanted you to work hard. Now this is all gone. And what was created actually we are in "an iron cage." This is a famous quotation. Again, you have to take it down; one of the most frequently cited sentences from Weber. "Modernity created an iron cage [correction: Professor Szelnyi said 'stage' but he meant 'cage'] where we are actually working, because we are forced to work very hard." And the spirit of capitalism today--I think he was reading Veblen and the theory of the leisure class, and looking at American wealthy, by the early twentieth century, who started to have a good life, not only to save. They would not follow any longer Benjamin Franklin's advice: Get up early when the sun rises, and go to bed when the sun sets, because you don't want to burn the candle and waste money on the candle when you burn. Right? That was the real--right?--Puritan spirit; the spirit which created this very institution, Yale University. Right? Don't burn your candles--right?--because you waste money. Save money; that's what will please God, and that's what will be the sign that you have been saved. Now he said this is unfortunately not any longer, because people are actually are for consumption, conspicuous consumption. Well and then he ends up--this is a very important quotation; keep it and it will be helpful for you to understand the importance difference between Marx and Weber--he said, "Look, but don't misunderstand me. I don't want to substitute a one-sided materialist explanation of history, what Marx offers, with a one-sided idealist history. I'm not suggesting that capitalism

came out of Calvinism. All what I'm suggesting, there has been an independent change in theological teaching, from Medieval Catholicism to Reformation. It was a rationalization of religious thinking: the loss of magic, the rationalism, the teaching of predestination. And if this would not have happened, capitalist institutions would not have been able to develop." Not that they caused the emergence of capitalist institutions; there was also an evolution of the economic systems. The material change happened in one line, and the change in the sphere of ideas happened in another line. And what he said, "There is an elective affinity between the two." If you have the proper ideas, and the proper economic institution, bingo-right?-- then the change happens; then you have modern capitalism. If you don't have the right ideas, like Calvinism--he said, "Like in China in the twelfth century everybody, everything was ready for capitalism. It did not happen because the Confucian and Taoist ideas at that time did not give the ideological framing which would have helped the development of capitalism in China, and that's why China was held back." Right? Calvinism, you know, rationalization of ideas could happen, but if there are no economic conditions for capitalism, it will not happen either. So this is the idea of elective affinity. He rejects a simple causal relationship between ideas and material conditions, and he substitutes it, we would say today, an interactive effect. Right? There is an interaction between ideas and material conditions. He calls it elective affinity, as such. Thank you very much. And the test questions will be posted, just before 7:00 p.m. I have a discussion section at 7:00. So before I go to the discussion section Thursday, I will post the questions.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 17 Transcript October 29, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: All right, good morning. I want to do what I did last time around the test; just to walk very quickly through the test questions and sort of test myself; how would I respond to them? There is a lot for today to cover. So I will rush. Let me just one more time emphasize, you have plenty of time to do that. Right? I have a discussion section at 7:00. So I don't want to risk that something is going on wrong in the internet. So I will post this before my discussion section, before 7:00; exactly when, I don't know. I mean, I have these anxieties, what Hobbes was talking about, and therefore I don't want--I prefer to be five minutes early, rather than being an hour late. Right? So sometime before 7:00 you will find it, and you have to send your answer around 9:00. Some of you communicated that you need another time, because you have already engagements; it is always you have to work this out with your discussion section leader-right?--and your discussion section leader will take care of your needs. And be brief. Right? Sort of the two questions should be about--more like four to six double-spaced pages, rather than much longer. I mean, we will accept eight. So you will not be penalized if you are longer. But the point is not to be long, but to be crispy. And again the point is, you know, you try to show the different views of the authors, and then comment on it, whether-- which is more sensible. Right? And a third, a third, a third--right?--of a paper goes this way. You

spend a third presenting one author; a third about an opponent of that author; and then your reflections on it. Right? That's about it. So let me then rush through. This is not an easy question--right?--Marx's theory of alienation; Nietzsche's or Freud's theory of civilization. I mean, there is a common feature--right?--between the three authors. This really asks to create a controversy between the two. Right? You can pick two, usually. The common feature is that they are all concerned about modernity and people's sense of being lost and being without control in modernity. And the problem of modernity: that we are too much controlled, and the control is increasingly inside us, rather than outside, and coercive. Right? I think that's the common feeling. I think I made this point in the lecture. If you read twentieth century literature, particularly first half, you find this feeling expressed by a lot of novelists. You read Franz Kafka--right?--you read Albert Camus. That's where you get that same feeling expressed, to what Marx, Nietzsche and Freud are responding to. But there are big differences. Right? Marx tries to move away from Hegel and wants to come down to earth and offer a theory of alienation which is rooted in the economy, into the production process. And Marx has a view what emancipated society will be, and he even has a historic agent who will get us there, to emancipation; the proletariat. Now Nietzsche is very different. Right? The genealogical method does not really offer you the right solution. Right? The genealogical method only shows you what is unique in modernity, in modern morality, in the Judeo-Christian morality, what you think is so attractive and so noble. And he shows--right?--how--right?--in the workshop where ideas are produced, it's actually torture and oppression what operates. Right? So there is no good society, and no agent who will get you there. Right? You have to do it by yourself. Now Freud also sees civilization as coming from repression of sexual drives. So he is in a critique of civilization. Right? But at the same time Freud has this dual attitude about civilization. Right? Civilization is coming from repression, but it is still sublimation, and the most beautiful things in human society--art and science--are coming from this sublimation. And he is also reflecting--he's writing in 1930, through the rise of Nazism--an anti--right?-civilization, and he does not want to support that. Right? So in a way, you know, one can say that he does have- he does not offer you the vision of good society. To some extent he is with Nietzsche. He said, "You have to emancipate yourself. You have to figure out for yourself what your problem is." And he certainly does not have a historic agent like Marx has. Anyway, this is the way how I would be dealing with this. And I will not tell you what my opinion is; I want to hear your opinion about it.

Okay, the second question. That's not easy either. Practical theory of truth, and Nietzsche's genealogical method. Well there is, again, a common element between Marx and Nietzsche. Neither of them believes in objective abstract truth. Right? Marx says there is no objective abstract truth. Truth is a practical question. Truth is being achieved by human practices. Right? And Nietzsche, of course, does not believe in objective truth. Right? He's trying to find truth. But truth is being accomplished by comparing, you know, different notions of morality, and to show that in comparison with each other, both have its upsides and downsides. Right? So there is--by the way Nietzsche, don't misunderstand him. He is not a nihilist. He does not say everything goes. Nihilism is a very negative term for Nietzsche. So he does not want to say there is no truth at all. He said truth is just relative, and you can arrive at a critical understanding of your situation by comparing your situation with another one. There is, of course, a very fundamental difference again between Marx and Nietzsche. Because what is this practical truth? These are human activities, and Marx basically arrives at these human activities through changing the physical work, through the system of production. And again, he has the agent who is--this is the revolutionary practices of the proletariat, which will get you to the truth. There is nothing like that in Nietzsche. Right? Nietzsche does not have a historical agent, and does not have the society where after all you will get to true society. Well this is actually a very simple question. Many of you did not like it. So I'm thinking very hard whether to put it on. It's a bit narrow, but very simple. German Ideology and the Grudrisse. Very simple. There are two unique features in the German Ideology. One is when he--he does develop the notion of mode of production for the first time in this book, '45-1845. But he does identify the nature of mode of production primarily by division of labor. And this doesn't serve him very well, because the division of labor does not capture the conflictuous relationship between classes, which eventually will have to lead to revolution. So he abandons it--does not finish the book. Because only at the very end of the book does he realize that the two components of mode of production are forces of production, technology, and relations of production. And relations of production, for most of the German Ideology, is division of labor. And then he realizes, no, no, no, it is not division of labor, but property relations: the relationship between those who have property and those who do not have property. And he also has a very deterministic view of history in the German Ideology. All societies have to go through the same modes of production: tribalism, slave mode of production, feudalism and capitalism.

In the Grundrisse, there are two big innovations. Now the center is property relations; the peak of history of capitalism, when the producer is separated from the means of production completely. And he breaks from the deterministic view of history. Right? Now he has this multi-linear development of history. Not every society has to come through slavery and feudalism. The Asiatic societies, in a quasi-communal society, can move directly into capitalism. Okay. So that's basically a very simple question. I probably did a very bad job in the lecture, that this did not become clear. So four, Marx as a historical materialist, and compare him with Freud. Well actually I am inspired here by Jrgen Habermas. And Jrgen Habermas says, "Well, Marx in the 'Thesis on Feuerbach' got it right when he said that the real point of departure is sensuous human activity." At that time, when Habermas was writing this, he was still a materialist. Then he had his culture turn, and he's probably not a materialist any longer. He said, "Materialism is if your point of departure is what you can get from through your senses, not through your ideas." But he said Marx made a mistake; namely, that he reduced sensuous human activities to the economy, and to production. And well, he said, Freud is more interesting, because he has a different kind of sensuous human activity. And this is sensuous human activities between people--right?--sexual relationships. In fact, Habermas makes it more complicated; I don't want to get into Habermas. But his interpretation of Freud is that Freud also starts from sensuous human activity, to understand what is in people's mind. But it is not economic reductionism; if anything, it is sexual reductionism. Right? It is a pan-erotic explanation of history. But, in some ways, you know, they all starts for sensuous human activities, in explaining what can be in people's minds-what is our ideas. So the starting point is material sensuous experience--right?--and the product are ideas. Right? This is, in this sense, they are both materialists, but in different ways. Is that--I suppose it should be pretty clear now. Right? Okay, Classes. Well you can have different views on this, and especially whether Marx's theory of classes are still applicable. You know, Marx defined classes in terms of property relationship. He had two classes in The Communist Manifesto, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The question is does it still matter? And you have to reflect on this. Do you think property relations still is a major antagonistic divide in American society, or not any longer? And, of course, Marx believed in The Communist Manifesto, yes there is still a middle-class, but it will be done away; middle-class will be become either bourgeois or become proletarian. And, of course, in the United States, the received wisdom is that we are all middle-class. Are we all middle-class? I would like to hear your view about this. Right? But that's the big

question. Clearly Marx did get it wrong; that's undoubtedly, I think everybody agrees. I think Karl Marx, if he would be alive, he would say, "Ah, I screwed it. I made a mistake. Of course there is a big middle-class." Right? So, I mean, you don't have to really hate Marx, you know, that there is a middle-class. He clearly made a mistake. Right? Anyway, but you can ask the question, who is the middle-class? Are we indeed all middle-class? Is this sensible to talk about the big bourgeoisie? Well there are no big bourgeoisie any longer. This is people's capitalism we live in. And these are the questions I would like you to deal with. Okay, labor theory of value, and Adam Smith. I thought this is a very easy question. Right? Adam Smith said that, you know, all value is created by labor. But then he said when it comes to distributing wealth or income, it has to go to labor, capital and land. Marx, on the other hand, said, "Well, this is a contradiction. If all labor goes to- if all value is created by labor, it should go to labor. And therefore if it is taken away from labor, it should be understood as exploitation." Is this an advance or is this a misunderstanding? And you can say, "Well this is a misunderstanding because Adam Smith was right. He said all labor is--all value is created by labor, in societies where capital is not accumulated and the land is not privately owned, and therefore this is a consistent argument." Or you can say, "Well Marx actually got a very important point, because there is indeed exploitation; there are exploitive relationships, and it does drive history." I mean, how you take your position, this is up to you. You have to argue consistently--right?--and the argument of consistency will be rewarded. Seven: Well this is--again, a lot of people said don't do it because we have not talked about domination. I'll probably leave it, because I will talk in the next--how much have I got?--forty minutes about this--domination and mode of production, and what domination is. Well Protestant ethic; was he as an idealist? Some people think this is a too narrow question. Well I think you kind of can ask the question, is this really an idealist view? Some people said, what Weber is saying, that it is Calvinism which created capitalism. Is this his view? What is exactly his view? He is very critical of Marx. He believes that Marx has a simplistic materialist explanation: it is consciousness which--it is existence which determines consciousness, rather than the other way around. Is Weber saying the opposite? It is consciousness which determines existence or capitalism. And that's what The Protestant Ethic is trying to do. And, of course, he has this interesting notion of elective affinity-questions whether there is really a causal relationship between ideas and the economy. And you can labor on this, what he might mean. And what you think--this is a cop-out--right?--that he actually--is Marx more of a contemporary social theorist, because he has a causal explanation? He tries to give a causal explanation. And that's what you are told in political

science or economics. "Real social science comes up with causal explanations." Right? And Weber shies away, and Marx tries to do causal analysis. Okay. Did I miss nine? Well this is very much a--very similar to the previous question. Here only I ask you to compare the two: Is Marx really a simple-minded economic deterministic-determinist? It is existence which determines consciousness. Or does he have a more complicated view? Is there a contradiction in Marx? Right? The philosophy of praxis, that we are making history. He also makes that claim. How does it fit? Does he simply contradict himself, or is this a consistent ideology? And, you know, Weber, is he an idealist, or he is not really an idealist? What does he mean by this elective affinity? And then finally, with the final question, I think people seem to be liking this. Not easy, by the way. Marx clearly has a notion of human nature. Right? Marx believes--is a Rousseauian-an even more radical than Rousseauian theory of human nature, especially in his theory of alienation. Right? We are good, and the problem comes as society makes us alienated. But I think he goes a little beyond Rousseau. Because he thinks that in the state of nature we are actually social; being social is in our nature. Right? Rousseau did not think so. The noble savage has to be socialized into civil society. Marx believes that this whole idea of state of nature is an abstraction. We are all born in society, and by nature we are social. Only capitalism, which makes us competitive--competitive bourgeois individuals, makes us asocial and egoistic. Well does Weber has a theory of human nature? It's a more difficult question to pose. I think, if I would argue, I would say if Weber does have one, it is closer to Hobbes, because he does believe that people--the history of humankind is a struggle for power; yes, an ending struggle for power, and that's why he explained human history with power struggles. That's about it; that's the way how I would, in a nutshell, try to deal with this. And I hope this was somewhat helpful, and makes you relaxed--right?--that this will not be a difficult test. It will be actually a lot of fun, to deal with these intriguing, interesting issues. Okay? And believe me, I really want you to have fun. I think these are interesting questions. Okay, now we come to Weber's theory of domination. And that's almost impossible, what I am trying to do now. But will try to rush you through. And first of all we have to understand Weber's theory of action which has some similarities to Hobbes and Hobbes' theory of voluntaristic action. But then we also have to deal with Weber's notion of rationality, and then his distinction between power and domination; his theory of legitimacy. This is very, very important. It's one of the most fundamental concepts, particularly in political theory, but also in economics and in sociology. And finally his types of authority; we will deal at great lengths

with different types of authority. I'll just give you a sense what this is in the next twenty-five minutes. Okay, the four types of economic action. He makes a distinction. The question is, how can-how are we orienting with each other? What motivates us when we are interacting with other people? He said well we can act instrumentally, rationally, and I will explain it to you what he means. And then he said we can also act value rationally; and again we'll come--explain what this means. In our interaction we can be led our emotions. And he said this is--well, whether this is rational; he said this is not irrational thing. It is not necessarily irrational that we act out of our emotions, and I will tell you when he thinks this is becoming irrational, acting out of emotion. Or, in our interactions we can be led by tradition. Now to understand this, that we actually interact with each other in very different ways--over time, with the same person, we can act occasionally instrumentally or occasionally we can act affectually. Right? Occasionally we act towards somebody because we have a great deal of emotion or feeling; love or hate. And occasionally we can act instrumentally. Right? We use somebody in order to achieve somebody. Can I borrow twenty dollars from you? Right? Then we act instrumentally. But we also can act out of hate or love. Right? In a discussion section I really hate the guts of somebody who is always speaking--right?--in the discussion section, and then I just will contradict, because I just--it is my antagonism. Or I just sympathize with somebody, and therefore I also tend to disagree [correction: agree]; basically driven by my emotion. And now I'm not talking about love, which binds people more. Now what is behind this is Weber's fundamental methodology. He calls his approach to society 'interpretative sociology.' The term interpretative sociology is translated from German. The German term isVerstehen; Verstehen means understanding. Occasionally we also translate it into English, that what Weber does is understand. But Weber's strong commitment is that social analysts--be it an economist, be a political scientist, be a sociologist, be a historian, be an anthropologist--is not to pass value judgments on others, but to try to understand what drives other people. Don't assume that other people, because they act differently than you, would act in their situation, that they are dumb, evil, or irrational. Right? This is particularly a debate with economists. Economists tend to have--right?--a very strong conception that there is one economically rational behavior. Weber said, 'No; I mean, there are various types of ways how we can act, and my job is not to say, 'Now you're very rational'. My job is to try to put myself into your position, and to understand why you did, and why you did the way how you did it." This is interpretive sociology. Right? This is understanding, Verstehen. Right? That I emotionally try to put myself into your situation, and

rather than saying, "This is what I would do", I decide if I were you, in your situation, would I do the same thing? Why do you do that the way how you do do? Assuming that you are not acting irrationally, but try to understand why you act the way you act. Okay? Now let's talk about instrumentally rational action. This comes to the closest what most economists, especially neoclassical economists, regard as rational economic action. He said, "Instrumentally rational action"--he calls it Zweckrationalitt--is when the ends and the means are all rationally taken into account and weighted. Right? This is kind of utility maximization. Right? When you--utilitarians define this as the rational way to act. Right? That you have--you are striving for happiness, and you try to achieve this happiness, and in this process you maximize utility. You try to reduce the expenses, and you try to increase the return on what you try to achieve. But let me also emphasize that Weber's notion of instrumental rationality does not say that the ends are irrational. Right? Weber, very much like John Stuart Mill, is quite aware that we actually do have preferences, and there are some ends what we find more valuable than other ends. Instrumental rationality only means if in order to achieve this end is too costly for us, then we probably will go for our second preference, rather than our first preference. Right? So well I would like to date somebody; I very much would like to date that person. But in order to have a successful date, I have to take this person into a four, five-star restaurant. Well the dinner will cost me $200.00. Well there is another person whom I would not mind to date--you know, my second preference--and that would go with a full-star restaurant, and would cost me only 50 bucks. And therefore, you know, I will weigh it, you know? Is my preference for the first date is so strong that it is worth for me to pay $200.00? Or it's actually not that much stronger; my second preference is actually pretty good, and therefore I actually go for the $50.00 dinner. You see what I'm getting at? So you are weighting rationally, both the ends and the means, and you come to a conclusion. Again, you know, not all that far away from Hobbes--right?--and Hobbes' idea--right?--that we are--you know, we do have these drives, we have these appetites, and we have these fears, and then we arrive at a will. This is instrumental rationality. But he said people can act value rationally, and if somebody acts value rationally, I am not willing to call them irrational; value rationality, if somebody says, "This value is so important for me that I don't care what is the price I will have to pay for it." Right? Well let me give you a very simple example. Right? You actually may think that human life is particularly valuable. Right? Now you or your partner may be expecting a child, and then you will have to make a decision. Will you give birth to this child or will you have an abortion?

Right? And then it can come back to value rationality. Right? People can say that the life of an unborn child is so superior for me that though I know it is a very crazy stuff for me to have a child, or my partner, to have a child right now, I will do it; you know, because I am acting value rationally. I know it is instrumentally irrational. Right? I may have to quit school, you know, in order to earn an income or to take care of the baby or something, and I'm actually screwing my life, but I don't mind--right?--because I have such a strong value commitment. You see what I'm getting at? And you cannot say this is irrational behavior. Right? This is rational behavior because people has a commitment to an ultimate value, and this ultimate value occasionally is so high that you are sacrificing your economic interests; and occasionally you sacrifice your life. You are wiling to die for noble causes--right?--and you do it--right?--rationally. You weigh it, but you know that you will die. And if you know that you will die for this noble cause, one cannot say that you are acting irrationally. Affectual orientation. Affectual orientation, that you are led by emotions. He said it can be on the borderline, because if it is simply an uncontrolled reaction to a situation, then it is irrational. Right? If you're simply acting out of anger, then you were irrational. Right? When you are drunk in a party and you are saying something to your partner, and your relationship is breaking up; you actually wanted this relationship to go on. Next morning you wake up and said, "My goodness gracious, what have I done?" Right? "I was dumb, I was irrational. I was led by emotions. I said things what I should not have said." In this case emotion was irrational. It was an uncontrolled reaction to a stimulation. But otherwise, to act out of love and to make sacrifices for love is very rational. Right? We do this all the time. Right? Your parents do it. You know, they send you to Yale and they pay $200,000.00 to get you a Yale degree--right?--very well aware that probably they will never get anything like that back from you. Right? They hope they will get some love back from you. Well they might or they might not. Right? But, you know, they act out of love. And, you know, some people may say, "You are crazy. Why you invest so much to your children? They will put you in a home of elderly"--right?--"when you get old. Nobody will take care of you." Right? Well they--but the answer is, "But I love my child and I want the best for my child." Right? This is a very not irrational behavior: well justified. Anyway, these are traditional orientation, where you act out of tradition. Right? Well some people actually still believe in arranged marriages. Right? Certainly if you are Islamic, or even if you are an Orthodox Jew, you probably want to choose your partner through an arranged marriage. Right? You go to the rabbi and the rabbi will arrange the marriage for you. You have to be pretty orthodox, but there are some Orthodox Jews who do. Many Muslims

who do that. Is it irrational? Not irrational. Actually one can say romantic love is not all that bloody rational. You know? The whole idea that you see somebody, fall in love, and next day you propose, that seems to be a pretty silly thing to do. Is not it is much better to go to the rabbi, who knows you, who knows your potential partner, and arranges the marriage for you? Anyway, the point is--right?--tradition can guide your action. And that's again not irrational. It is only irrational if it is completely unthinking. I think that's very important to say. If it is self-conscious, you know what you do. I do it because I am a Jew. I am doing it because I am a reborn Christian, and that's what reborn Christians do. Right? If you follow this way, then you are acting rationally; or not acting irrationally, to put it more. Now what is rationality? Well I think the key--it's a very complex notion. For me--and you can have a different interpretation; now I will give you my interpretation. I think what is important, that rationality means that you substitute unthinking acceptance of a situation and not thought out, spontaneous reactions, to deliberate adaptation. So when you are conscious about what you are doing, then you are actually acting rationally, or at least you are not acting irrationally. He makes a distinction between rational, which is giving a great deal of thought, and non-rational, where actually there is still some reflection going on. Schluchter, a major Weber scholar who knows much more about Weber than I do. Though I have read this book cover to cover a couple of times, I haven't read all the sixty volumes of Weber cover to cover, but have read quite a bit of it. Anyway, but Schluchter has read everything more than once. This is his interpretation. He said, "The question is means and ends. Instrumental rationality is the ultimate rationality, because you consider both means and ends." And he said, "Value rationality is a lower level of rationality because you do not consider really means any longer." Right? "Ends dominate. And traditionally the factual rationality are more marginal types of rationality." Well I would offer you an alternative interpretation. This is my reconstruction of Jrgen Habermas; which said, "Well what Weber is emphasizing is what is the level--right?--of your reflexivity? Do you really think about what you are doing? And also to what extent you can communicate to others what you are doing. And if you do it this way, you can have reflexivity which is very high. So you think very hard why you are doing, and you are aware what the motivation of your action is, and you can explain it to a great deal to others. If this is so"--I think this is really Habermas--"then your rationality is the highest level of rationality." Right? Because you can really explain your values very well. Instrumental rationality. There is not much to say. It's only I am making more money this way. Right? Therefore the level of communication is relatively low, though you know very well what you are doing. Anyway, I'll just leave it for you-- don't want to elaborate on this anymore. But the bottom line is for

Weber rationality is really-- has something to do how conscious you are of what you are doing, and how conscious you are of the consequences of your action. You are irrational when you don't know what the consequences of your action are. Now power and domination. Weber makes a fundamental difference between power--in German, Macht--and domination. And this is a very important citation. Right? "Power is the probability that an actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance." You can resist, and nevertheless the person who is in power can force you to do what you [I think he misspoke] want to do. He said, "Well, this actually very rarely happens in social situations. What typically defines a social situation is relations of domination. That's what he calls Herrschaft. Domination is the probability that a command will be obeyed. Right? The difference--right?--between power--domination--this is sort of my little equation here--domination is nothing else but power and legitimacy. Right? The people who hold power try to legitimate what they do. You know, I was trying to do this in the first twenty minutes. "Look, you know, you have these questions which sound difficult. They are not difficult. They are exciting." You know, there I tried to legitimate myself. "This is sensible, that you try to answer this question. You will learn, you know; you will understand society better. You will understand yourself better if you think about these questions." Right? I was trying to legitimate the process, rather than just acting out of power. "If by 9:00 it will not be here, you will get an F"--right?--"and then you will be in big trouble--right?--you will not get your degree." No, I did not want to legitimate--I tried to legitimate what we will be doing this afternoon--right?--by the legitimacy, saying this will be sensible for you to do. You benefit from it. Right? I tried to internalize--right?--what I want you to do, between 7:00 and 9:00, that you're beginning to believe this is good for me that I am doing it. It is fun. Right? I'm learning. I'm enriching myself. This is my self-development. Right? So I was trying to convert--right?--power into domination. Right? And that is legitimacy; a claim that what I'm doing when I'm asking you, 7:00, you know, not to have a cocktail, but to sit down in front of your computer and to write a test, is good for you. Right? And if you internalize it and you're beginning to think how wonderful, you know, that I can delay these cocktails for two hours--right?--then I achieved, then I--you know, then it was domination rather than power. Right? Is that clear? Now what is legitimacy? This is a very tricky question. And well I have my own view; many people will vehemently disagree with me. He said--and that's very important--"Every genuine form of domination implies a minimum of voluntary compliance." That is an interest in obedience. Right? Unless I could persuade you that you will feel, well I actually could--you

know, I could drop this course and not to take this test. This is too difficult; I'll just drop the course. I can live without this course. You can have a kind of voluntary compliance and, most important, an interest. You're beginning to think, well I will learn something by doing this. If I achieve that, then this is really domination. Now this is also an extremely important argument. Right? That every privileged groups-people in position of power--are developing a myth of their superiority; they are developing a myth that this is useful for you to obey. So the essence--right?--of legitimacy, that it has a certain--expects you to believe in the reasons what those in position of power try to justify their power, but also an understanding that this is a myth. Because this is--right?--comes very close to Nietzsche. Right? Nietzsche is sticking his head out here. Right? It is a mythology. It's not really true. Right? You just internalize your own submission to the authority. Right? But the tendency in history is that you will internalize it. So this is very different from what we normally say legitimacy, because by legitimacy in contemporary political discourse, refers--well Karzai is not legitimate because he was faking the elections. If elections are fair and free, then the person who is elected is a legitimate ruler. No, no, no, that's not Weber's view. It's not universal suffrage and free and fair elections, what makes the ruler legitimate. What makes the ruler legitimate, that the ruler is capable to develop mythologies, to justify that you better obey the orders, what is given to you; because you have some self interest to do so, and you have some level of belief that it is actually not bad for you, to do what the ruler wants you to do. Right? Now there are different types of domination and authority. And this is where he clashes-right?--with Marx. As we have seen--right?--Marx developed his typology of societies from economic systems. Economy drives history. Weber is a Nietzschian; Hobbesian or Nietzschian. Right? What drives history is power, struggle for power. And the nature of power, how power is constructed, and how our power is sublimated--right?--into domination, to put it in the Freudian way, that is how you should understand how societies operate. So it is not modes of production what describes the evolution of history, but types of domination which describes the evolution of history. And there are really three types of what he calls legitimate authorities. There are three ways how rulers in history legitimated their rules. It can be legal rational--easily you can say liberal--traditional and charismatic. And we will spend time on this, each one of them. I just very briefly want to tell you what these different authorities are. Legal rational authority is a system in which there is a belief in the legality of enacted rules. And those who are actually issuing the commands, they themselves are bound by those rules; by this is the rule of law.

That's what he calls legal rational authority. It is rule of law administered in a bureaucratic manner. You do not have a personal master. You do not obey a person. You obey the rules of the game. Right? And these rules of the game are prescribed. You know in advance before you act. It is set, and you follow these rules. That is legal rational authority. This is not identical with democracy. It can be democratic, or it can be authoritarian. It can be actually a constitutional monarchy. Right? A constitutional monarch passed laws by a separate legislature which was or was not democratically elected. But everybody knew who the rules of the game are--right?--in a constitutional monarchy, eighteenth century, early nineteenth century England. No democratically elected parliament. Right? But the laws were there and the monarch followed the laws. That was legal rational authority. Then you have traditional authority. Traditional authority, he said, rests on the established belief on the sanctity of immemorial traditions, and the legitimacy of those exercising the authority under them. In some ways, you know, when you are obeying your father, you are acting under traditional authority. The authority what your father has is ascribed to your father by tradition. Right? We know that this is something what fathers do have a legitimate right to say--right?--that in fact, you know, fathers do have a legitimate right to say that by midnight you have to be at home. Right? You kind of are not very happy about this; you know, when you were sixteen you started to revolt against this. But, you know, you accepted this is normally what, you know, fathers, you know, or mothers do say. You know? And, you know, he also said, "Well you did something and therefore for this weekend you cannot go out." Right? They are acting out of traditional authority; authority which is ascribed to them by tradition. And finally there is charismatic authority. This is a very complex issue. We will talk about this a great deal. Charismatic authority refers to the fact when a leader is trying to legitimate its right to issue commands, that he has some extraordinary character--that he's something like, you know, an extraordinary, unusual person. But it's also very important to see that they are often seen as supernatural, or even superhuman, having exceptional qualities. But what is also very important to see, that charismatic authority in Weber is not really the characteristics of the individual. This is what we attribute to the individuals, to have these extraordinary characteristics. In the most recent U.S. history, during the electoral--during the presidential campaign, Barack Obama, with his, you know, charming personality, with his extraordinary skills of delivering speeches, was capable to create a kind of charismatic aura around himself. Right? People got excited, you know, almost like around a rock star. Right? And his whole arguments for trying

to legitimate himself was very much cast in charismatic terms. Right? Hope you can believe in. Right? This is a very typical charismatic appeal. "You have to believe in me because I'm offering you hope in a hopeless situation." Right? That's what creates charismatic authority. How much charismatic authority President Obama still has, this is another question--right?-what you may want to discuss in the discussion section. It's also a problem whether, you know, candidate Obama was really a charismatic leader. Weber basically defined charismatic leaders as the great leaders, the makers of great world religions. Jesus Christ was a charismatic leader. So in some ways to say modern politicians, they are charismatic, it's a bit slippery. But I think the emphasis on hope and the call, "You believe me because I will be able to deliver." Yes we can. You know, I remember when I first heard him saying that, I said, "Yeah, that's exactly the charismatic appeal." Right? It's not quite reasoned out. Right? And it moved me when Barack Obama came out and he said, "You think nothing can be done. But yes, we can. Hope you can believe in." Right? This is very much a charismatic appeal. That's what charismatic authority is all about.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 18 Transcript November 3, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Well, I would like very briefly to come back to Weber's theory of domination. I deleted it from the questions, but I promise I will get this back in one way or another for the next test. So probably the last thing you want to think about now is a test, but let me still talk about the theory of domination. I think this is a very important theory-extremely influential and extremely insightful. So let me just very briefly sum up where we left it last time, and then I'll move into Weber's theory of traditional authority. And last time we were talking about the crucial distinction Weber makes

between Macht and Herrschaft. Macht is translated in English as power; there is no question about this. The translation ofHerrschaft varies. It is translated either as authority, or it is translated as domination. And I think both translations are good. I think, people whom I feel closer in my own Weber reading, translated it more like domination rather than authority. And, in fact, I think just to emphasize you the importance of the translational difference, in the notion of Herrschaft, the first four letters, Herr, means the lord. So I think the notion of herrschaft has very strong implications of asymmetrical power relationships; what I think domination captures better than authority. Those who translated Weber's notion of Herrschaft as authority, like Talcott Parsons, wanted to emphasize that Weber looks at Herrschaft as something which is authoritarian--right?--where somebody acts out of authority. Right? This is not a false translation, but misses an important point--namely, Weber's interest in the way how power is being exercised. In fact it, in a way, misses Max

Weber's roots in Friedrich Nietzsche, or probably even, I may dare so, in Hobbes. Right? Human history is all about the history of struggle for power. That's, in my reading, Weber's fundamental idea--power with an important modification. And I gave you the citation last lecture, but let me come back to this. Power means the likelihood that people will obey order, even against resistance. And domination means the likelihood that people will actually follow orders, without being coerced to do so. So the notion of domination, or Herrschaft, does imply a degree of voluntariness, a minimum level of belief that in fact those who issue orders do have the right to do so; or at least it is reasonable that they issue orders and I follow the orders. Or to come up with an even more minimal definition of Herrschaft, that I cannot see any real alternative under the present circumstances but to obey the orders to the one who issues these orders. Right? And this has everything to do with the idea of legitimacy. And I put, at last lecture, this little equation--right?--on one of the slides, that power plus legitimation adds up to domination or authority. So what is legitimation? Weber said power is really an extreme case; that very little, very--it happens very rarely that the one who exercises authority, exercises simply by exerting power, coercing people to obey. Those who are in a position of authority try to legitimate their authority, and try to come up with reasons why people subjected to this authority should obey their authority. It's again very Nietzschian, the idea. Right? That those who are exercising power tries to internalize your subjugation to power in one way or another, and try to create in you a morality--right?--a set of principles by which you would say, "Well, this probably may be the right thing for me to do." Or, as I said, the minimum definition, even if you don't particularly like obeying orders, you say, "What else can I do? The alternative, if I don't obey orders, would be worse." Or about the person who issues authority: you may not like the person who issues authority, but you will say, "But the alternative is worse." Right? So you can pick a course. You may not like the lecturer all that much, or the way how he grades, but there were other courses you did shop for and they were even worse. So you picked the least worst course. Right? You picked the lecturer who seems to be the least boring, and who seems to be the most reasonable grading your assignment. Right? That doesn't mean that you are all that thrilled to be at lectures, and to do assignments, but you have to do it, and under the circumstances you go for the less evil. Right? That's, I think, the kind of most extreme interpretation of Weber's idea of legitimacy. But Weber also--I pointed this word out to you--Weber said that all legitimacy contains an element of a myth. It doesn't mean that the person who tries to justify its authority is telling the truth. Whether it is truth or not truth is almost beside the point. The most important issue

is that it creates a mythology about the reason why you have to obey authority. So what I tried to underline already in last lecture, that Weber's notion of legitimacy is so much more sophisticated, so less liberal, and so much more Nietzschian than the idea we normally hear when you hear the word legitimation. Right? Legitimation, we see something very good. Right? A power is legitimated because it was somebody was elected in fair and free elections to an office, and we believe that this person will do a great job, having been elected. Well, Weber would be more likely to think something like Karzai. Well, under the circumstances, probably there is no alternative to Afghanistan but to have this guy as the president. Though it's very doubtful, you know, what all those claims about the legitimacy of the system are being made; they are pretty much a mythology created around it. But otherwise the alternative is chaos, and even this guy's probably better than chaos, which would happen otherwise. Right? This is in my dark reading of Max Weber. Now, as you can see, of course, the difference from Marx is fundamental. Marx did see human history as unfolding of modes of production. It was all struggle around ownership, means of production, clash of economic interests. For Weber, it is not economic interest which drives human history but struggle for power. And he can describe different systems of authority over time, but it is all described on the quality and the nature of those mythologies those in a position of power come up with to legitimate what they are trying to do to you. Right? So that is one fundamental difference between Marx and Weber. There is another fundamental difference, and you will have to bear this very much in mind as this lecture on traditional authority unfolds. Though Weber develops these different types of domination, primarily to describe historical change--grand societies, traditional authority, charismatical authority, legal-rational authority, kind of describe the evolution of humankind-and has a similar kind of flavor than Marx's subsequent modes of production. But Weber does more than that. These three types of authority do describe all kinds of organizations or social units. Today we can talk about legal-rational authority, traditional authority, or charismatic authority in contemporary society; though he would call liberal market capitalism as the purest type--and what pure type is, I will talk about this in a minute--of legal-rational authority. He will say that even in contemporary society we have organizations which are based on traditional authority. The most obvious example of traditional authority--and bare it in mind when we will be talking about this today--is the family you live in. Right? The family is primarily bound together by tradition. But the very institution where you are in now, universities, do have a flavor of traditional authority. Right? It has a kind of ethos where at

least we teachers believe that you have to pay some respect to the teachers. And we have all kinds of traditional rituals--right?--which makes the making, the functioning of a university in a way a traditional organization. Right? There is the graduation ceremony, when you will be wearing all these funny, you know, academic dress, and then you are awarded a degree, which is happening almost like awarding a lordship by the queen. Right? The president will say, "By the power vested in me", and then by this power "will confer to you"--right?--the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences. Right? This is very much like conferring the title of Lordship on somebody, by the Queen of England, by the powers vested in her. Okay, so therefore Weber is more flexible with Marx. No, it doesn't simply describe society, but in every society it does describe certain organizations. And in contemporary society we often talk about charisma. And we have been talking a lot about charisma in the last eighteen months. When we were talking about Barack Obama and Barack Obama being a charismatic leader. Right? So the charisma is also something what we very often invoke today, describing the nature of authority somebody is exercising. Okay, so that's again, you know, just a backdrop to the notion of authority, and I hope it will help you to locate it more in the literature. Now, as I mentioned also in last lecture, there are three major types of authority. Traditional authority, in which basically you have a personal master in charge, and this personal master somehow appeals to old, age-old, sacred rules, to ask you to obey his or her commands-mostly his, but occasionally her commands. After all, there is a queen in England, and there were queens in England for a long time. Okay, so that's traditional authority. The other one is charismatic authority, where the person in charge calls for obedience on the grounds that that person is believed to have some supernatural, extraordinary powers. And finally legal-rational authority: authority in which the person who is issuing a command is also under the same law as people who are obeying orders, and in legal-rational authority you do not have a personal master, you do not obey a person, but you obey the rules and laws. That's why Weber calls it legal-rational authority. As a shorthand, I think it would be more obvious to call it liberal authority or a liberal system of authority. I just want to make one more-- one very brief comment, as we proceed to traditional authority; namely, that the three types of authorities are not exactly of the same ontological status. Weber basically has two major types of authority: traditional authority or legal-rational authority. Charismatic authority does not have the longevity what traditional authority or legal-rational authority has. Charismatic authority, as we will talk about this a great deal, is a revolutionary force. Charismatic authority usually occurs for a relatively brief period of time.

Typically the charismatic leader is one person, and it is very lucky if that one person can maintain the charisma for all the time this person is in charge. I mean, just after nine months of the election of President Obama, we see a little--right?--withering of his sort of strong charismatic appeal. So in order to maintain your charisma while you are in office--and especially for a lifetime--is very difficult; and even more difficult to transfer charisma to another leader. So charismatic authority is really a change, basically--as I will argue later on-from one form of traditional authority to another form of traditional authority, in Max Weber. So therefore really the two big types--traditional authority and legal-rational authority--and what Marx called the transition from feudalism to capitalism; or what we understand, modernization is really nothing else but the movement from traditional authority to legalrational authority. Okay? Now let me go into today's topic, and talk about traditional authority. And first about pure type. I will describe his definition of the pure type, but it needs a footnote what pure type is all about. As I already pointed out, Max Weber was a Kantian. That meant that Max Weber did not believe that human knowledge, which completely describes the reality, is possible. Right? The reality is so infinitely rich that the concepts what we develop is only mental images of this object, what we are developing a concept about. Right? It can never be fully describing the subject. So these mental objects, what we have in our mind about the object, from which we try to develop knowledge, is what he calls ideal types. They are abstractions from the world, not a precise description of the world. So therefore what he said: The best what we can aim at, to develop ideal type, pure types; and all realities will be always somewhat different from the ideal type, what is in our mind. And as human knowledge is progressing--and that's what makes actually Weber a difficult reading--is that in the process of knowledge we develop an ideal type and conceptions about the world, and then we go back to reality and we see that it does not exhaust the reality as it is; the reality has other important features we missed in the first instance. So we go back and we redo our ideal type; enrich the ideal type to fit--to create a better fit with reality. Right? That's the fundamental idea. And that's what makes Weber so difficult to read, because he often comes up with an ideal type, a pure type. And he said, "Yes but when I am reading a historical reality, it does not quite fit; so therefore I'll redo a little my ideal type and enrich it." So you can easily get lost when you are reading Weber. And this is not accidental. Right? This is the methodology how he proceeds. He does not believe that we can attain absolute knowledge. What he believes, that we have to strive to be able to describe what we want to describe as precisely as we just can--as we can. So this is the idea of pure types.

So what is the pure type of legal-rational authority--of traditional authority? First of all we have to talk about the basis of legitimacy--just very briefly something also about the patterns, how a staff is being recruited, as such. And here he comes with a very clear and simple definition. In traditional authority, legitimacy is claimed for, and believed in, by virtue of the sanctity of age-old rules. So the person who rules makes a claim that this has been always this way, and there is some sacredness in, in fact, obeying the person who by age-old tradition was assigned to a position of authority. Again, let me just go back to the family. This is a classical example. The parents do have some sacred rights to issue some commands, and we do obey parents because it was always this way; children always had to obey parents. To what extent they have to obey, and what parents can do to children, may vary a little over time. But the parents are in charge and they are, in fact, to have the rights to issue certain kinds of commands is widely accepted. But the word "believed in" is also very important. Right? So the parents do not have to force you to obey; you're beginning to believe that it is indeed the right thing that the parents obey order. It happens also if you particularly dislike what they try to order. And occasionally you may not like one of your parents, or both of your parents. Nevertheless, you think some degree of obedience is necessary; unless you really break the law and you run away. Right? But that is certainly an extreme case. As it is an extreme case that parents will force children, use coercion of children, to obey their rule. Well occasionally they use some degree of coercion. It's also very important in Weber; you know, that coercion is always present in every type of domination. Do not think that legalrational authority does not have coercion. In the United States, over three million people are in jail. Right? They are being coerced. In the United States, people occasionally are killed by the government--right?--they are executed. So there is coercion, even in legal-rational authority. In the most liberal democratic society, if you break the laws you will be coerced. And if you are not breaking the law, there is always the promise of coercion. Right? It's said, "Well under certain circumstances you will be coerced." Now the second important point is-right?--that the master who obeys the order is designated by traditional rules--right?--and they are obeyed because of their Eigenwurde. Well Eigenwurde is translated into English as traditional status. It's not a very good translation. Eigenwurde really means that they are believed to have virtues by themselves; that they have a virtue what they themselves carry out. So there is honor; I think the term honor is extremely important--right?--for understanding traditional authority. The traditional master is always assumed to be an

honorable person. Right? And if that person becomes not honorable, it is likely that it will lose its authority. Again, think about parents. Right? The parents are supposed to be honorable, and if they are not honorable any longer, there is a crisis in the family. Have you seen Arthur Miller's play, the Death of a Salesman? This is exactly what happens in the Death of a Salesman, when his son catches the father, whom he admired so much, is catching him with another woman than his mother. Right? Then suddenly the father loses his honor; he's not honorable any longer-right?--and that creates a lifelong crisis for the child. So I think honor is very important to understand traditional authority. And it is based--traditional rule is based on personal loyalty. You personally feel that you have to be loyal to this person. Again, all of these issues do apply to a substantial degree in institutions like a university. Right? It is also kind of assumed--right?--that, you know, professors should act in an honorable way, and if they don't, they are caught of being not honorable, they will be losing their legitimacy. And there is a great deal of personal loyalty in university situations. Well particularly in graduate school the relationship, the mentor and the Ph.D. student, is a highly personalized relationship of mutual loyalties. Right? There is so much a mentor will be able to take; that a Ph.D. student in the dissertation will be too critical of the professor who is supervising the dissertation. It expects some degree of loyalty--right?--from the student; and the student would be very disappointed if it turns out that the mentor is writing bad letters for him. Right? There is an expectation--right?--of mutual loyalty in every type of traditional authority. And what is therefore important, there is also a personal element. Whom you obey is a kind of a personal master; not simply a supervisor, not a boss, but something of a personal master, an honorable person to whom you are linked to by loyalty. Well how do you recruit staff under this system? There are really two ways to do it. There is a so-called patrimonial recruitment; namely, that people are selected into position because they are related to the chief, by tradition, because they are known to the chief. This happens to a great deal in various organizations even today; especially university organizations do exercise a substantial patrimonial system of recruitment. But there are extra-patrimonial ways when persons are judged to be loyal by the master and are appointed to the office because of their expected loyalty, as such. Again, I can give you the example of the universities where a lot of recruitment is happening through patrimonial recruitment. You are--well in the U.S. universities, you are not supposed to recruit your own students. In Europe they do. In the U.S. few universities do. But you recruit the students of your buddies or your friends or your colleagues. Right? There's a lot of patrimonialism going on in university recruitment. And, in

fact, loyalty is very important when it comes particularly to the appointment of administrators in the university system. Well there are--let me move on and let's have the broader historical view. There are various historical variations of traditional authority. Well Weber is very messy in terms of terminology. I was trying to make as much sense as I could. I think there are two major forms of traditional authority. One is called patriarchalism, and the other one is called patrimonial domination. The big difference between patriarchal systems, that it does not have a staff--that what is being--the authority is exercised directly by the master and does not need a staff in order to exercise its authority. Patrimonial domination, on the other hand, does have a staff. It is a larger scale society, or a larger scale organization, where a staff will carry out the commands of the master. This is--the distinction between master, staff and the people who obey--is extremely important for Max Weber. And try to get deep down in your brain, this comment, because you cannot understand Weber without this. As I pointed out, Weber said there is always a degree of belief or faith involved in legitimacy. But what kind of faith depends a great deal whether the faith is by the staff in the master, or by the people in the master. Weber's fundamental idea is that the system is legitimate as long as the staff has a positive belief in the master. The masses, the people, usually do not have a positive belief. They don't usually love the person who rules them; they just accept it as the lesser evil. But the staff has to have a positive belief in the master. When do come--revolution comes? When the staff is losing faith in the master. When the Shah of Iran fell? When the security services in Iran began to lose faith in the Shah. The people of Iran usually did not like the Shah all that much. They just could not think of an alternative; so they accepted it. But the regime fell when the security services lost faith in them. The same can go for the fall of Communism. Communism fell when the Communist Party staff, and especially the secret services, began to lose faith in the system. Not that most people who lived under Communism were all that bloody Communists. Right? But well the staff was. When the staff turned out to be against Communism, that's when Communism fell. Well patriarchalism--I will make two distinctions here, primary patriarchalism and gerontocracy. And then about patriarchal domination, about pure patrimonialism, where the staff is purely a person or instrument in the master, and finally estate-type of domination, or what we normally call feudalism, when the administrative staff actually appropriates certain powers from the master. And now what I'll do, to show, I think, what Weber's theory of history is--how these different types of systems evolve.

He said that history begins with patriarchalism. It's relatively small societies, for instance, kinship networks, where the elders or the father can rule the society and does not need policemen, jailers, you know, judges, administrators, tax collectors, in order to run the staff. It does it directly. Then it moves to a primary patrimonialism where the society becomes larger. There is staff, but the staff is individually selected by the master, and they completely depend by the master. The most extreme example of this is, as I will talk about this in a minute, sultanism where the sultan can actually get rid--typically gets rid of the staff at will, and very frequently. Then it is moving to a feudal type of domination, where the staff appropriates certain powers from the master--appropriates those powers because, for instance, it has land holding, what is given to a noble family, not only for life but also for the family for the life of the family. Right? The feudal property has been inherited, and then the staff appropriates certain powers from the master and will act as a master, for instance, even serve justice. And finally, legalrational authority, where the power of coercion is the monopoly of the state. No individual has the right to exercise coercive power, except the state. Well this is not quite true. Parents, for instance, still have some right--we feel uncomfortable about this--but parents do have some rights to exercise coercion. But generally you cannot exercise any coercion; only the state can. So as you can see, in a way, the history of humankind is an evolution of the means of coercion. Right? For Marx, the question was the evolution of the means of production. For Weber, history is driven by the evolution of the means of administration and coercion. Again, a very Nietzschian idea, that dark read of the history, that history actually is getting worse because those who rule have more and more sophisticated means to suppress a larger number of people. And what makes it even worse, they internalize--you internalize your own submission. Internally you believe that this is the right thing, that you are not free. Right? That's again, I think, the Weberian view of history, in my reading. Now about patriarchalism--is the most elementary form, as I said--when we believe--right?-that there is one master without a staff, who has the right to exercise orders. Because it is no staff, it is assumed that the members of the group which is under patriarchalism--for instance, kinship networks--has a substantial feeling that they actually should obey this master. Weber calls them, they are Genossen. They are comrades; there is a camaraderie. Right? This is a family. Right? The family has some degree of oneness. They are not, he said, Untertanen. They are not subjects to authority, but they are comrades. Right? They are members of a community.

Primary patriarchalism means when there is typically a father kind of rule; the father rules. Typically it's a--there may have been maternal authority as well. The historical record is a bit unclear whether there were matriarchal societies. We can assume there were. So then they were patriarchal/matriarchal societies. It was a mother who ruled the family, or a father who ruled the family. And the relationships were not necessarily based on blood relationships, because actually for a very long time we did not know that the sexual act may have all that much to do with procreation. It's a reasonably recent discovery of human scientific knowledge that this happened. And therefore in very early societies it was not known that there is blood relationship between the father and the children; even then, it did hold. Well one sub-case is, of course, slavery. I'll leave it out, but let me talk about gerontocracy. There are some systems in which the elders rule; the older person has the authority. Well gerontocracy is again something which is not unheard of from modern societies as well. Now let me move onto patrimonial domination. And it does emerge--typically emerge--when an administrative staff is being created. This is larger societies. You need armies and policemen and tax collectors in order to operate, and the members who are subordinated to your authority are treated as subjects. I mean, I'm also Her Majesty's subject; you know, when I got once Australian citizenship, and then, you know, the Queen is still the Queen of Australia. So I'm Her Majesty's subject, not simply an Australian citizen. Right? When there is a person with whom the authority is relied. And in some ways in England, and in Australia, this is the figure of the queen who does that. Right? Well I don't want to deal with this because I am running out of time. Right? Initially patriarchal domination--patrimonial domination was really just a large household. And, in fact, what, you know, the ruler, the king or emperor did, he went from one village to the next, with his staff, and was fed for--like in a household, and moved on. But then, of course, it became more complex, and then had to create an estate; had to create an estate in which moves beyond the oikos, where taxes are being collected, and it's running in a--with kind of a bureaucracy. Now in a pure type of patrimonial domination--right?--the staff are purely instruments in the hands of the master. And like I mentioned, sultanism is where there is virtually unrestrained power for the ruler to replace those under its authority, as it pleases. But then evolves in history a more complex system: estate-type of domination, or feudalism. It is a system in which--he calls it estate-type of domination--in which the staff has a certain degree of stability. Now how much stability it has, it will depend how the staff is being rewarded. And

Weber makes a crucial distinction between benefices and fiefs; these are the two ways how the staff can be rewarded in an estate-type of domination. A fief, you will easily remember that. Right? We use the term in ordinary language. We say somebody has a fiefdom. And by this we mean if somebody has a fiefdom, it means that somebody created a sub-system over which it has control, virtually as long as that position is alive, or as that position is at least in the same organization. So again, if I can use the university examples--you may not be as familiar with this as I am--but in universities, for instance, office space for faculty is a typical fiefdom. Once, you know, a faculty got an office, it's virtually impossible to take that office away from somebody. It created a fiefdom over the territory, what that person has. Well this is only for the time of the tenure. Of course, somebody retires, their office will be immediately taken away; the fiefdom is lost. But, you know, the notion of fiefdom means that you have lasting power on it. Benefice, on the other hand, means that you get certain rewards, but only under the conditions that you actually do deliver to the ruler. And there are really two types of feudal systems. One is based on benefices, and this is a kind of prebendal form of feudalism. That means the nobility who is serving the czar--for instance Russia was ruled typically after Ivan the Terrible, my namesake, and until the Russian Revolution, by a kind of prebendal system, in which the czar gave an estate to the lords, as long as they were loyal to it. We see this now happening in Russia again. President Putin actually took the billions of dollars of wealth, what people received from President Yeltsin as private property, because he did not think they are loyal. So these people ended up in jail, or they were sent into emigration. Their property was taken away. So even contemporary Russia, in a way, operates almost like a prebendal type of feudalism. Right? President Putin is a kind of Ivan the Terrible--right?--who sort of reinforces loyalty. And I made the point--right?--that was exactly as in Russia changed the feudal system and when boyars were turned into pomeshchiks. Boyars in Russia, before Ivan the Terrible, had inherited wealth, and Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great took that away and turned them into serving nobility, in exchange for loyalty. If you have listened to Mussorgsky's fantastic opera, Boris Godunov, you get the story there exactly. If you have not listened to it, do. Right? Don't get a Yale degree not having known Mussorgsky's fantastic opera, Boris Godunov. Right? Well Western feudalism, on the other hand, is based on long-lasting powers of the staff. Western feudal lords received a property for lifetime, and it actually was inherited by their children. And, in fact, they also exercised a great deal of administrative power. Right? Feudal

lords in France or England did held court and made judgments--right?--over their serfs; those who belonged to their authority. So they--and the kings were rather limited in their power. Well we have seen this struggle earlier in this course--right?--between the kings trying to gain more of authority, take it back from the feudal lords. That's all what absolutism versus constitutional monarchy was all about. Right? Well, of course, for a constitutional monarchy, it was not simply the feudal lords who resisted, but also already the bourgeoisie who wanted to have a constitutional monarchy to limit the rights of the monarch. Well traditional authority doesn't go very well with the economy--right?--because it is primarily oriented towards satisfaction of needs, and not generation of the profit. Right? And therefore traditional domination is likely to prevent the development of business-oriented activities. And that's, I think, again true for the more traditional type of system, what we are familiar with, like the family or the universities. They do not quite operate like business corporations, and therefore they may make economic calculation and profit-seeking difficult or impossible. They can be a defense against market mechanism, but do not promote market mechanism. Well, and of course in all of these organizations there is a larger degree of arbitrariness than in modern organizations. And, of course, in traditional organization there is always a greater respect to the welfare of those who are subjugated to authority. So that's about traditional authority and its tension with modern capitalism. Thank you.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 19 Transcript November 5, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Incidentally, in my discussion sections, people got too excited about charisma. So we did speak a lot about charisma. I ask your patience. We will cover some of the same grounds, but I hope I can give you new jokes about charisma. This is one of the most exciting features of Weber theory, and probably one of--next to the Protestant Ethic, right?--the one which entered the common language, more than anything else. Right? That we all talk about charisma, and people's charisma, or charismatic leaders, all the time. Just like the Protestant work ethic, which entered the popular vocabulary, and everybody who has not read any Weber still uses the term. It's also very important to come to terms with the idea of charisma because Weber was suspected in the 1930s, '40s and '50s to be actually a proto-fascist, and with the idea of charisma advocating for a strong leadership for Germany, a calling for a charismatic leader for Germany, and in a way almost demanding Adolph Hitler. Well, of course, he died in 1920; he could not do that. But especially the philosopher, George Lukcs, accused him to be

an irrationalist, and being a proto-fascist, laying the ideology for Nazism and Adolph Hitler. I have to tell you that I am not absolutely certain what Weber would have done in 1930 or '33. I hope, like his brother, he would not have gone for the fascists, or Nazis. But it's complicated. I will try to make a case that in fact the concept of charisma is not quite what Adolph Hitler was. So the main major themes of the presentation today. First of all we will deal with the definition of charisma; what is charismatic authority. Then we will talk about the sources of charisma, where charisma is coming from, and this is particularly important, to see why Weber is actually not a proto-Nazi. Then we will be talking about the followers of the charismatic leader. Then we will talk about charisma as a revolutionary force, charisma as a vehicle of change. And I think this is an interesting idea in Weber, though one of the weaker points I think of Weber theory. I think Karl Marx has a much more coherent and much more persuasive theory about historical change as class struggle, you know, and the contradictions between forces and relations of production. This is historically invalidated, but a very coherent and very persuasive kind of argument. Weber's idea of charisma as a revolutionary force actually has empirical relevance, but it's rather unpersuasive, and I will talk about this. And then we come to a big problem with charisma, how charismatic leadership can be routinized or transmitted from a charismatic leader to the next, and what are the methods of succession for a charismatic leader. So, I mean, those of you who were in my discussion sections, you can see it will not be just a regurgitation of the discussion sections. And I don't know what happened in other discussion sections; also the charisma may have come up. This makes people move; minds move a great deal. So I'll just step back a minute and again revisit the idea of different types of domination and authority. And this is the simplest scheme I can come up with. But I think this is a good one. I'll copyright it; I did it. So the question is where is obedience due to? It can be due to rules, impersonal rules, or it can be due to a personal master, to an individual. That's the big story. Right? And if it is due to rules, that's when we are talking about legal-rational authority--and this will be the topic--and bureaucratic rule, modern liberal democratic system or modern notthat-democratic system, but systems which still do have rules of law. There are actually authoritarian systems which do operate with rules of law, where authoritarian leaders actually do themselves follow the law and take law seriously and implement laws seriously. So legal-

rational authority does not mean liberal democracy. It simply means that this is a system in which there is a rule of law, even if the leader itself can be not particularly democratic. Democracy, as we understand it, is a very recent phenomenon. Universal suffrage in the Western world became widespread since the 1920s, and it really became the dominant form-right?--of political rule much, much later; I would say more like after the Second World War. I mean, Switzerland, for instance, gave rights for women to vote just very recently. So well, you know, democracy is a--liberal democracy--is a very new invention. And legal-rational authority is not such a new invention. There was a rule of law in England going back to the Orange Revolution. Right? It's going back to the late seventeenth century. There was rule of law in the United States before the late eighteenth and nineteenth century, though there was no liberal democracy as we understand that. Right? There was no universal suffrage at all. So, I mean, you could have rule of law without democracy. But that's still very different from a system where you obey a master. There are two ways how you obey a master. You obey because the tradition appointed that master--and that's what we were talking about Tuesday--or because the master is believed to have some charismatic features. I also mentioned it last time: that the differences between the three types of authority--legalrational authority, traditional authority, and charismatic authority--do not have the same, I'll use the term, ontological status. Right? The two big forms in history are traditional authority which through rationalization eventually becomes legal-rational authority, and charismatic authority usually is a transitory stage. Charismatic authority is a charismatic leader emerges in times of great need, desperation and need for change, and charismatic leaders, if they deliver-you know, as long as they deliver--they remain leaders. If they stop delivering charisma is taken away from them. And it is extremely difficult for a charismatic leader to establish an ongoing system of charismatic authority--right?--because it will be very difficult to transfer their own personal charisma to somebody else--right?--and to keep running a charismatic system. Okay, so that's about generally, you know, what is charisma? As I said, this really we keep using the term all the time. The last eighteen months we used it a lot because of candidate and later President Obama. And there is probably nobody in this room who at one point did not say something about Obama's charisma; or, you know, if you did not like him, the lack of his charisma. Right? But, you know, this was a commonly used term.

Now this is coming from Weber, because he dug this term out from a rather obscure theological language, where charisma actually referred to some superhuman qualities of individuals, I would say almost semi-gods, who have some very personal and exclusive relationship to God, and therefore, like any other human beings, they kind of can talk to God and then they can interpret God's will to the people; these were charismatic leaders. So, in the most classical definition, charisma refers rather to the great founders of great world religions; that's what charisma, in initial meaning, meant. So Mohammed, Moses, or Jesus, they had charisma, because they had a special access to God. Right? Moses got the two tables from God. Right? He could not see the face of God but nevertheless got the two tables from God. Nobody else could walk up--right?--there on the mountain and get these tables, you know, and tell people, "This is the law." Right? It was only Moses who could. Right? And Jesus had a very specific relationship to God. Right? Christian belief, was even the Son of God, embodiment of God. And undoubtedly, you know, it is believed by Christians that Jesus could actually convey to us what God wants us to do. Right? Had this very special unique charismatic appeal. And Mohammed had this special appeal to God. Or if you are Mormon, then Mr. Smith had this very unique--right?--relationship to God. At one point an angel came, you know, got a new sacred book, a continuation of the Bible, left it with Mr. Smith. He translated it, and when the translation was gone, you know, the angel came and took it away. This was a charisma--right?--a very specific superhuman; it did not happen to any other human being, only to Smith. Right? That is the initial notion of the meaning. But now Weber makes it here a little- kind of a broader conception, and he said--right?--that charisma will be applied to a certain quality of an individual personality. It's important still an individual who is considered extraordinary and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman. This sounds like the original definition. But then he goes on and he said, "Or at least exceptional powers and qualities." Right? And these are regarded as of divine origin-that's the founders of the great religion--or exemplary; he modifies that. Right? It can be just exemplary. You don't have to believe that this is semi-god or the embodiment of God. You only have to believe that this is an exemplary being who has some exceptional abilities, exceptional qualities, and that will qualify that you will call somebody a charismatic person or a charismatic leader. Let me also underline one more term from these quotations which is extremely important. He said the person is considered to be extraordinary and treated as endowed with superhuman or exemplary features. So--and what I think is extremely important to see, that Weber does not

tell us that this individual is actually extraordinary, that it is actually superhuman. In a way it is in the eye of the beholder. It is among the followers who attribute--right?--to these qualities, to somebody. So in a way charismatic leaders are being made by the followers. Well, and what is the source of charisma? This is now making it even more clearer and more precise. It rests in recognition. You have to recognize it, charisma. So the relationship of charisma is in the interpersonal relationship between the leaders and the followers, and in this interaction is charisma being created. Right? It is not given by the grace of lord--right?--to an individual person. It is created by those who are subjected to authority. Right? And it's also important that those who follow the charismatic leaders are usually seen as followers or disciples. Right? They have some extraordinary commitment to this leader. Right? This leader creates excitement in them, and this excitement, what creates the community of the followers or the community of the disciples. Right? And well this was one of the reasons why many people in the last eighteen months regarded Barack Obama as a charismatic leader, because he was capable to appearing in a crowd, and moved the crowd--right?--create excitement in the crowd. Right? He created followers-right?--almost one would say disciples, as such. Now but the charisma can be withdrawn. This is again a very important idea in Weber. He said if the proof of success alludes the leader for too long, it is likely that the charismatic authority will disappear. Right? So the charismatic leader gives you--right?--promises that it will produce miracles, and then the charismatic leader does not producing these miracles-right?--he must work miracles, said Weber--then the people withdraw the recognition of charisma from the leader, and the master simply becomes a private person, an ordinary person; it loses its individual appeal. Well what is very important--right?--that the charismatic leader has to promise you miracles--right?--has to promise you that it will deliver something what you desperately need. Right? Charisma is deeply rooted in the conditions in the situation in which a charismatic leader is being constructed by the followers. When you are in a desperate need, then you are looking for a charismatic leader which can solve this problem what you think is almost unresolvable. Then the charismatic leader will come and will promise you that this problem, that the charismatic leader will be able to solve, because of its extraordinary characteristics. And again if I can come back again to the last elections, that was, you know, clearly the case, the way how candidate Obama was capable to win the elections. You remember one of the key words--right?--which characterized the campaign: hope, change, yes we can. I mean, these are very typical elements--right?--of a charismatic appeal. Right? You are in need, you

want hope, you want to have business as not usual, you want to have a new type of business, now this is what I promise you. Right? Change and hope, and I empower you. I am the person who can empower you. Right? It can be done. Right? We can do it. Right? Yes, it can be done. Hope, change, yes can be done. These are very typical elements--right?--what a charismatic leader does produce. In recent history other charismatic leaders, which are probably not as attractive in historical perspective as Obama, did become charismatic leaders the same way. Fidel Castro established charisma for himself. The Cuban society was in desperate need for change in 1960, and Fidel Castro appealed, and he said, "Well I will bring change to you. I will get rid of this corrupt government. I will create equality." Right? "I will help the poor. The poor will get wealthier. I will create affluence." Right? "I will create a just and affluent society." Right? And therefore he came up with promises what people were looking for, and then charisma was attributed to Fidel Castro. Adolph Hitler emerged as a charismatic leader. Right? Germany suffered a humiliating defeat in the First World War. Then it was hit with a Great Depression, which hit Germany even worse than it hit the United States. And then Adolph Hitler appealed, though he was not quite as an attractive personality as Obama; he was, you know, quite a ridiculous guy. But he actually said, "Well I can solve the problems for you." Right? Defined an enemy; "It's all Jewish conspiracy. We get rid of the Jews, and I will turn things around. And, you know, we will have a new empire." And there he was capable with this problem. There was a need in the situation where people were looking for leadership, and they were looking for a strong leader, a charismatic leader, and they attributed this charismatic leadership--people to them. The problem comes when they cannot deliver. Certainly Hitler, when the Russian troops were already fighting around Berlin, was no charismatic leader any longer. Right? He was hiding in the bunker, considering suicide, and his charisma was gone all together, because he did not deliver, he did not do the miracles--right?--and therefore his charisma was withdrawn. Now about the followers. Right? He said the followers of a charismatic leader are often bound together by emotional ties, and they create an emotional community with each other. Weber uses the German term Vergemeinschaftung; they become kind of a community. There is a real religious leader with a charismatic appeal. It creates always communities of people. I don't know if any one of you ever had experiences of some fundamentalist religious experience. I did when I was a teenager. There was a preacher--interestingly, he also did not look charismatic; he was even not a great speaker. I don't know how on earth he had this curious charismatic appeal; but he did. He did have an impact on me. I attributed charisma to him.

And he kind of created a community around himself. Right? We all were brothers and sisters together, who kind of believed in the charismatic preacher. This is very often in kind of sectarian, fundamentalist religious groups, be it Christian, or be it Muslim, be it Evangelical. There must be people in this room--right?--who at least when they were teenagers experienced that. Right? When you are a teenager and you want to get out of your family, and you are looking for a new community; I mean, this kind of religious community is very often offered an alternative. And some of you may still be in such a community. And if you are, I envy you. I think it is--you know, as I recall, it was a wonderful experience in some ways. Vergemeinschaftung. You had your family. Right? You have your spiritual family where you belong to. Does it make any sense what I'm saying? I think there must be people-right?--who experience that or are still experiencing it. Right? So that's what he calls Vergemeinschaftung. Gemeinschaft means community--when the mass society relationships becomes a relationships like a community. And indeed, even in charismatic political campaign, you have this sense that we belong together in the common cause. Right? There

was Vergemeinschaftung in the Civil Rights Movement--right?--where there were these charismatic leaders, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy--right?--and the whole idea of civil rights, and that we're called together--right?--and we go to the South and we demonstrate-right?--and we demand civil rights from these bloody racists. Right? That created a sense of community among people--right?--who had this belief in change. Well and if you are actually in such a community, you have a kind of personal devotion to the leader, and there is a certain degree of enthusiasm what emerges in you--right?--which is occasionally coming out of despair, that you are desperate and then you hope to have some salvation, some solution to an irresolvable problem by the charismatic leader. That's how in Communism charismatic leaders like Lenin or Mao or Castro emerged. Right? These were all societies in deep trouble, after humiliations, after wars, in big need for some major structural change, and then they were looking for a savior--right?--who will solve these irresolvable problems and will lead out to paradise. Well it's also interesting that, you know, in charismatic communities there is usually relatively little hierarchy, not all that much of a bureaucracy. Those who are actually serving the charismatic leader usually do not get salaries or benefits. It's again true, you know, even for charismatic political leaders, that they get a whole army of volunteers; because they so strongly believe in the cause that they volunteer their time and money.

Well here comes an interesting and disturbing proposition--that he said, "Well because charisma is such an extraordinary form, it's--as a system of charismatic authority--it is opposed to a rational and bureaucratic authority." Right? Therefore it is kind of irrational, in the sense of being foreign to all established rules. Because what is a charismatic leader about? To change. And the change means that there will be new rules of the game, and you don't know exactly what these rules of the games are. And this is what makes, if the charismatic authority as a whole system is operating, a high level of uncertainty to the system. And now forget about American politics. Because in the United States we clearly have a legal-rational system--right?--that's what characterizes the United States of America. And occasionally we see emerging politicians who actually do implement some level of change-or promise change, whether they can deliver or not--will greatly affect how long we attach charisma to these people. But from Roosevelt to JFK to Martin Luther King to Obama, there were politicians with this charismatic appeal. But the system itself was not charismatic. Right? Charisma helped leaders to get elected, and charisma actually may help a leader to be able to make some strong and important changes early in life. Those who are critical of President Obama usually are critical of him, that he has not moving fast and forcefully enough-- was not cashing in, in his charisma early--right?--in his presidency. And there is, you know, some signs that in fact, you know, his charisma, charismatic appeal is weakening. Right? There are some people who say, "Well I feel betrayed. You know? I was promised change, and I see a lot of politics as usual." Right? So this is, of course, an inevitable problem, if a leader who has this charismatic appeal finds itself in the legal-rational authority--right?--where actually it's very difficult to implement a change. You want to change the rules, the laws, you have to go through Congress to do that. Right? You just cannot declare that from now onwards there is a new game, rules of the game. And that is--sounds very much like politics as usual. That's very different from what Lenin or Mao Zedong did. Right? Lenin and Mao Zedong were not guided by rules. They established the rules. I mean, Mao Zedong is a particularly interesting character. Right? He established first a bureaucratic rule in China, and then he launches the Cultural Revolution. Right? He launches an anti-bureaucratic movement, and the top leader of the bureaucracy is becoming the major popular leader of an anti-bureaucratic movement. I mean, this guy was really quite something, quite extraordinary. And in a way he did that, you know, because his charisma was weakening by the 1960s. First he promised "a great leap forward"; you know, in no time we will catch up and we will look like the United States. And what happened with the great leap forward? Disaster; people were starving to

death. So he was not delivering the miracle. So what does he does next? He shows as his-we'll change the rules of the game. He launches the Cultural Revolution, and he suddenly becomes the leader of people who actually should be opposing him. You know, he's generating these kind of miracles; you know, the last miracle what he's trying to generate at old age, that he goes swimming in the Yangtze River. You see? You think I'm old and I'm dying? No, I'm superhuman, I still can swim. Right? This is the kind of--trying to rescue-right?--your charismatic appeal, where it is about to be taken away from you. But on the whole, as we see, as they establish, these charismatic leaders, establish this charismatic system, they can change the rules. And, you know, if you look at Chinese history, every five years everything is completely different. Right? First a hundred flowers flourish. We will let--everybody will--then, you know, great leap forward; then, you know, Cultural Revolution. He's changing the rules all the time. This is an unpredictable environment. Can the economy work in this unpredictable environment? No, it cannot. The same goes for the Nazis, and the same goes for the Stalinists. Right? It was an unpredictable environment. It was not good for business. Business needs a predictable environment. Right? It needs the rule of law. That's why capitalism--business at least---likes legal-rational authority. They don't necessarily like democratic system. Right? Capitalism can live nicely with authoritarian figures. Capitalists loved Pinochet. Right? But, you know, Pinochet was, you know, reasonable legal-rational authority; I mean, at the beginning, you know, he was killing people like crazy. But then he established a reasonably predictable system and capitalists loved it, and for awhile, you know, the Chilean economy, partially advised by Milton Friedman, you know, boosted. So, I mean, what capitalism really wants is a predictable environment. And in many ways, you know, democracy is not all that good for a predictable environment, because every fourth year we go to the polls and then we elect other people, and then they come up with other ideas, and this is a bit of a mess. So really I would almost say that a good free market economy loves rule of law, with a kind of authoritarian leader and a longstanding political stability. They don't like these big changes--right?--in the political system. Well now and charisma as a revolutionary force. This is very important. I think Weber first of all makes a very specific argument. He said it is always in traditionalistic periods--right?-traditional authority, when charisma is the great revolutionary force. So, in fact, in a modern legal-rational authority, it is not so much charisma which carries the change through. It is technical innovation, and it is the kind of routine and boring elections every four years which brings changes by gradually and incrementally. The big change is occurring from one type of

traditional authority to another type of authority, and in order to change the value system of one type of tradition to another type of tradition, that's when you need charismatic leaders. So he said--right?--bureaucratic rationalization is the major revolutionary force. But, you know, in a bureaucratic system like what we have, it is really a revolution from without. It is coming from technological change. We have revolution. Oh yes. I mean, the first time when I heard there is stuff like internet--email--it was 1976. And now I'm an email addict, as many of you know. You send me an email, and occasionally in five minutes you get an answer from me, because I'm always checking my email like crazy. This was all new. This was coming from the outside. Now, charisma, on the other hand--this is very insightful, very important--it is revolution from within. What charisma is doing is changing the value systems in you. Right? That's what charismatic leaders do achieve, to persuade you that you have to have a different kind of value system. And that's why I think charismatic leadership does play a role, not only in traditional societies. But charismatic leaders, in a legal-rational authority, do play a role to change people's value systems in substantial ways. Again we discussed that in discussion sections. Those who are not in my discussion sections--just let me invoke the Civil Rights Movement. Right? The Civil Rights Movement in ten years, in the United States, produced a change in value systems--our attitudes to race relationships and gender relationships--which otherwise would have taken a hundred years. Right? It happened in ten short years, that we completely rethought race and gender relationships in this country. Right? And this to a large extent demanded--right?--charismatic leaders. It demanded--right?--Martin Luther King-right?--who had a dream--right?--about a society where there can be a different type of value system. And in no time--I mean, you were too young to experience that, but your parents and grandparents experienced it, and talk to them, they will tell you--right?--how fundamentally their world outlook and looking at a person of another race, or how they began to treat women in their family, or girls in their family, how radically it changed, almost instantly. Right? Because it was a change from within. Right? That's what charismatic revolution is all about. And well this is, of course has everything to do against routine. Charismatic is not doing things as they used to be. That's why it is the opposite--right?--of one type of traditionalism, and the problem is what happens if the charismatic leader disappears and dies? And that's when we have the problem how can the charismatic leader be replaced? It's a very big issue, and there are different methods of succession. And let me just walk you through of this. It's not quite uninteresting. It can be search. It can be by revelation. It can be designation by the original leader. It can be designation by a staff, which is particularly qualified to decide who

the next charismatic leader will be. The issue is how can you maintain a charismatic system going on? It can be hereditary, that some hereditary line is established. And it can be office charisma; the office itself can carry charisma. Now let me just briefly talk to each one of these. Search. Well the best example is how you find a Dalai Lama. Right? It happens through a search. The Dalai Lama dies. You know that the Dalai Lama is reincarnated. So you send out people and looking for a child who is the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. There must be just one child who is the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. And then you have experts, who can tell, go around and then they find this child. This is the new Dalai Lama, and then it will be brought up, and will become the Dalai Lama and, of course, will have a great deal of charisma. And you can see it works. The Dalai Lama does have a lot of charisma. Right? Well whether you believe in reincarnation or not, that's another story. Probably most people in this room do not believe in it, but if you do not believe in it, even more miraculous why the Dalai Lama has this quite extraordinary charisma. There are people who just get wild if they can get near to the Dalai Lama. I had a student in Taiwan who actually turned into a Buddhist and became a great follower of the Dalai Lama. He got a Ph.D. from UCLA, but he's following; wherever the Dalai Lama goes, he's always there. Because he has this charisma. His charisma is attributed to him. Right? He was found in the right way, and he was established as a charismatic leader. It can happen through revelation. Revelation actually means that there are some people who are believed to have some kind of access to some divine authority who can declare that this is a person who is the next charismatic leader. Well I don't think in contemporary world revelation is all that much. Though, I mean, newspapers do it for you. Right? The newspapers do create charismatic leaders for you. They attach charisma, they build up the charismatic powers of a person; the media does it for you. And certainly the charisma attributed to rock stars--right?--rock stars do have charisma, right?--is created through the media. The media has the oracle. Right? He knows who the great guys are and whom you have to get absolutely excited when you get to the concert. Well, there can be a designation by the original leader. If the charismatic leader is dying, then the charismatic leader has a problem to find a successor. That's very difficult to do, because charismatic leaders are bloody scared that if they designate a leader then they will be poisoned or murdered. Or the new leader wants to take it over--too often, very often, we see charismatic leaders designating leaders and then murdering them. That's a long history in humankind. But, you know, an interesting example was that Stalin tried to build up his charisma by faking a testimonial of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, in which assumedly Lenin said

that Stalin will be the successor. This was all a lie. Lenin actually disliked Stalin a great deal and was very reluctant to name a successor. But he forged this letter and tried to say, "Well I inherited the charisma." And he had a lot of problems actually to establish his charisma. Eventually, in fact during the Second World War, he managed to emerge as a charismatic leader, and not only in the Soviet Union but even in the West. There's a lot of people in the United States, as the Soviet Army defeated the Germans, first in Moscow and then of course in Stalingrad, that they began to see Stalin as a great leader--right?--as a charismatic great leader. But he probably had nothing to do with the success of the Red Army. Well, or it can be designated by a qualified staff. This is the way how, for instance, the Pope is being selected; and the pope does have--right?--a charismatic authority. If you are Roman Catholic, you know that the Pope has some access to God, what you, ordinary Roman Catholics, do not have. And how is--but it's going on from one Pope to the next. The character of the Pope will matter. Right? There are some more, you know, charming, more persuasive popes, whom you see more of charismatic leaders. There are other popes who are more like bureaucrats. But nevertheless, even the bureaucratic kind of popes, are assumed to be charismatic and they are selected by a designated staff. There is a certain set of archbishops; when one pope dies, they gather together in Rome, and they cannot leave, you know, the room until they agree, they achieve a consensus, who is the other person who will have this special relationship to God. Right? There is also hereditary charisma, that you try to pass charisma on through your children-very hard to do. North Korea is trying to do that. Right? Kim Il-sung passed his charisma on to Kim Jong-il, which is an absolutely ridiculous guy. But nevertheless, you know, somehow it looks like, you know, that in Korea he does have some kind of charismatic appeal. So, I mean, this is not totally impossible. I mean, it's a bad idea, you know, if you are a charismatic leader to pass charisma on this way. Finally office charisma--this is very important. Incumbents of an office is supposed to have some charisma, depending on the office. But the office of the Pope, of course, is supposed to have charisma. But we actually do use this very often. We do--well in the United States we call this leadership. Right? That we expect people in position of certain authorities to offer leadership--to have vision, right? And this is a kind of a charisma which goes with the office. And, you know, I have been department chair quite a few times, and it's so interesting moving into the position of department chair and moving out of it. Your relationship to your colleagues changes a great deal. You know, when you are the department chair, there is-certainly some charisma is attributed to you. Right? You are supposed to offer some kind of

leadership, and you are believed to be able to bring in some change. I just remember, you know, one of the institutions when I was an incoming outside chair, how people said, "Oh, you came in like fresh air." Well in two years' time it was all gone. I was not fresh air. I was routine. You know, I was operating in a bureaucracy, massaging the bureaucracy to get things done. My charisma was all gone. But there is, right?--I think it's a very American thing, right?--that you attach expectations to incumbents of the office, that it can actually carry out change, bring in fresh air--right?--to have a vision and to do things better than it was done before. Okay, that's about charisma. Thank you.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 20 Transcript November 10, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Good morning. Now today's topic is Weber's theory of legalrational authority and his theory of bureaucracy. This is one of those questions--those topics-Weber is probably the best known for. It's also a rather complicated issue. When we are saying legal-rational authority, we briefly refer to the rule of law, and we tend to associate in our mind the rule of law with liberal market economies and the liberal democracies. Well Weber has a very complex argument about this. Indeed, legal-rational authority is the kind of system of authority which is predictable, because there is an observable law, everybody is subordinated to, which, in fact, has the most-

-the clearest elective affinity with a market economy. Nevertheless, as we will see, he will argue that--which is very counterintuitive--that the purest type of legal-rational authority is bureaucracy; and this is usually what we don't have in our mind when we are thinking about a market economy, that it is bureaucratic. So we have to deal with Weber's interesting claim that the purest type of legal-rational authority, which goes together with a market capitalist economy, is actually bureaucracy. It's also interesting that Weber does not make an assumption that bureaucracy, legal-rational authority, or capitalism necessarily goes together with democracy. How democracy fits into the picture is rather problematic for him. Of course, we have to appreciate that in Weber's-when Weber was writing about these issues, somewhere between 1914 and 1920, I mean, virtually none of the countries in the world were liberal democracies or universal suffrage. The political systems of the world changed so much in the last hundred years. But he problematizes this relationship; and it's actually quite useful. So this is the guideline for today's lecture. Again I start with the definition of the ideal type, the purest type of legal-rational authority, and then I try to dig into this unusual but very influential Weberian argument--that bureaucracy, in fact, is the purest type of legal-rational authority. And then I will look at various kinds of limitations of the exercise of bureaucratic authority. One is collegiality. The other is functional division of labor--right?--the separation of various branches of government, which is a limitation on bureaucracy, and representation, democracy, is a limitation on government. So you can see that he sees a tension--right?-between democracy, bureaucracy, legal-rational authority and capitalism. They do not go as easily together as usually we Americans tend to think about this. And then a couple of ideas about his view about democracies. Okay, so let me start with what is the pure type of legal-rational authority. And there are really two issues we have to very briefly talk about. There are different ways how laws and norms can be established. We're already beginning to feel our way into the problem whether the rule of law and democracy are identical, or, you know, it can be democratic, or does not have to be that democratic. And then the question is who obeys what and whom, under legal authority? So and a bit about legal-rational authority. So the argument is--right?--that there are various ways how laws or norms can be established. And well he said, legal authority rests on the acceptance of the following ideas. Right? Well, the norms, he said, can be established by agreement--that's what we usually think when we think about rule of law--or by imposition; it can be imposed on people. Right? And it can happen on the ground of expediency. It can

happen because these are the most useful laws and therefore we either agree that this is what we want to obey, or there is an authority which they impose on us. Or it can be based on value rationality. It may not be that expedient, may be not necessarily immediately useful, but on the basis of shared values, or the values of those who impose those laws--and we tend to believe it--we will--this is the way how it will be established. And then, of course, the legal system has to be somewhat consistent--this is important for the predictability of the system--and has to be intentionally established. Right? This is not coming from accident, but intentionally established. But the major point what I wanted to make-right?--that legal-rational authority, in Weber's view, can be actually an authoritarian system. Let's say Chile under Pinochet, the later times, after he established--consolidated his power; earlier on it was a tyrannical rule. But later on, Pinochet established a legal-rational order, though it was not democratic at all. Right? It was operating with a legal system which was imposed on people. And in history we have a number of instances when we can say, "This is country is a country of law and order. We know what the laws are; we actually think the laws are not unreasonable. But it was imposed by some power upon us." Now the next question is who obeys whom? And well I don't want to dwell on this so long. This is quite clear. You already are familiar with this. What is important--right?--the person who is in authority, who issues orders, is himself subject to an impersonal order. So we are all subject to the same order. This is the essence of legal-rational authority, at least in the ideal type. Right? We know the exceptions to this. We know that Berlusconi, for instance, in Italy, though Italy is really a legal-rational authority, for a long time managed--right?--to pass a legislation which enabled him to escape prosecution; though he's probably involved in a number of criminal activities, but somehow he managed to escape criminal prosecution. But that's the exception. The rule is--right?--that even the person who is highest in charge is subject to the same authority and has to obey the law. And this is again very obvious; we already covered this, the opposite, the mirror image of it. Right? The members of the society of obedience, to the superior, not as an individual, but to an impersonal order, to the law as such. That should be quite obvious. Now so what are the major characteristics of a system which is based on legal-rational order? There is a continuous rule-bound conduct. It's again, I think, does not call for too much clarification. It is continuously the same rules. The rules change slowly and with a great deal of difficulties, as we can see how Congress is struggling to pass a law about health care reform. It takes months or years before an important new piece of legislation gets into place. And usually new pieces of legislations, in legal-rational authority, are grandfathered. Right? If

you pass a new law, you change the rules of the game, you usually grandfather them; those who entered the game before the new law are still under the rule of the old law. We do that at the universities all the time. Right? If, for instance, the degree requirements do change in a university, almost always these degree requirements are--this new legislation is grandfathered. You know the terminology. Right? It will not apply to people who are already in the program. It will only apply to people who are entering the program. Or one way of grandfathering it, that we give people a choice. You know? If you want to operate under the new rule, you can opt for the new rule; or if you want to stay under the old rule, you can stay under old rule. Only for those are the new rules binding who are entering the system now. So that's very important--right?--that it is continuous and rule-bound. And he also said in legal-rational authority there must be a very clear separation of spheres of competence. Right? Who is competent to carry out what? And then you can always figure out how you navigate in a legal-rational order. You will be told, "Well, this is not my table, you go somewhere else." So you go and you ask something from the director of undergraduate studies, and the director of undergraduate studies might say, "Go and see the dean of your residential college"--right?--"because that is the sphere of competence of the residential college." That's the way how legal-rational order is supposed to operate. And the same, occasionally the dean of college will say, "Well, you have to see your sociology professor, or your economics professor." Right? You want to get transfer credit, for instance, for a summer course, and then the dean of college well said, "It is the department"--be it political science or economics or anthropology--"they will be able to tell whether this can be accepted as an economics course at Yale." Right? And this also implies that there is always a hierarchy and a right to appeal. This is--again, you are very familiar with it. You know exactly if you get a grade from your discussion section leader, you can appeal to the professor to say, "Well, I don't think it's a fair enough grade. I deserve a better grade. My section leader made an error." And if you are unhappy with the response of the professor, you go to the chair of the department and appeal to the chair. There is a whole hierarchy of appeal--right?--where you can try to correct what you think is not right. So I think it's extremely important that you know exactly what is the chain of appeal and how far you can go up. Usually there is also some specialized training which is expected for people to occupy certain positions. So well discussion section leaders will always be at least graduate students; usually, well, people can teach their own course once they were passed--they are Ph.D. students but all what they have is a dissertation to finish, or they must have their Ph.D. Right? So there is a

specialized training necessary to perform certain functions, as such. And that's an interesting and very complex idea--right?--that the staff has to be separated from the ownership of means of production and administration. This is even more important for Weber's argument. Being separated--it's not that easy to penetrate what he exactly wants to say with this. What does it mean that you do not own the means of administration? It basically means that the source of rules and laws are outside of the administrator as such. If you want to have any change in the rules, there must be some procedure which is beyond the person who is administering that rules, how the rules can be changed. Right? This in order--you have to prevent unpredictability in the system. And that's why rules change all the time. But the fundamental principle is that these rules should not be allowed to be changed by the person who administers--right?--those rules. So just to give a very trivial example, once you got your syllabus and the course requirement and what kind of assignments you have to deliver during the course in order to get credit in this course, then well working out these rules, a professor plays a role. But we have to get approved by the Courses and Curriculum Committee, and then in a way we are bound by those rules. So on the way I could not announce you today, "Well I changed my mind and there will be an unseen final examination where you will have to get a final examination-right?--and you will not know what questions I will ask, and I can ask any question for the whole course." Right? If I would change--right?--these rules right now, you would have, I'm sure, appeal against me, against my decision. Right? I'm bound by rules. So that means that I don't own the means of administration. Right? I am administering--right?--what is in the syllabus. Well there is a little leeway. Right? Occasionally I can give you an extension, for instance, if you come to me. Therefore it's--there is a little flexibility in the system. But fundamentally the course should be taught as it is in the syllabus, and the requirements should be like it is in the syllabus. That's what it means--right?--that you do not own--right?--the means of administration, unlike in traditional authority where a feudal lord does have--does own, appropriated, some means of administration from the monarch. And a British or a French high aristocracy could make rules; not implement the rules, but could make rules as well. The unique feature of modern legal-rational authority is that this becomes an impersonal process, which is not done--there is a separation between those who implement the rules, and there is a separate procedure--right?--how the rules are being established. Is that reasonably clear, what ownership of means of administration means? As I pointed out, it's a very Weberian idea. Right? For Marx--right?--the whole issue is the ownership of means of

production. For Weber this is everything about the administrations--the means of administration. Okay, now we come to this very interesting Weberian theory of the bureaucracy: very interesting, very controversial, in many ways very counterintuitive. You may say it is false. Well we will see. That is a nice topic for discussion sections. And this is what I will go through--a number of issues. What is a bureaucracy? Weber makes this quite incredible claim, what first you will completely reject, that the most efficient organization is the bureaucracy. Right? That's exactly the opposite what you think. When something is very inefficient, then you say, "Well this is so bureaucratic." Right? Weber nevertheless claims that the most efficient organization is bureaucracy. Then the question is how is bureaucracy related to capitalism and socialism? Is really capitalism a bureaucratic organization? What is the relationship between capitalist market economy and bureaucracy? What are the consequences of bureaucracy? And also then some contradiction of bureaucratization. Now let's just quickly rush through what are the characteristics of a bureaucracy. Well, he said, "the purest type of legal authority"--this is, as I said, counterintuitive--"is that one which employs a bureaucratic administrative staff." And well what are the characteristics of this staff in order to qualify to bureaucracy? Well they have to be personally free. So it cannot be clients--right?--of a mentor. Right? They are legally free individuals. That makes it so different--right?--from a traditional organization. That's why a family is not a bureaucratic organization, because you are not there by choice. Right? And then a bureaucracy is organized into a hierarchy of offices--this is something which basically we already covered-and the offices are filled by a free contract, and in this contract what your qualification is, that's what we call--right?--meritocracy. People do have a certain degree, and that degree qualifies them to be incumbents of a certain office. And they receive a fixed salary. It's not quite a bureaucratic organization if you are working for a commission. Right? You are really in a bureaucratic organization when you sign a contract and you know exactly what your fringe benefits will be and what your annual salary will be. Typically the office is the sole occupation of the incumbents, and it constitutes a career. This is also very important; again, very different from a traditional organization where people could actually be incumbents of a number of positions and could draw, in fact, even incomes from a number of positions. In a pure bureaucratic organization, you really can have only a single occupation. If, for instance, somebody is appointed with tenure to Yale, and is coming from another institution, he'll have to resign from his or her tenure at the other

institution. If you are employed by Yale, you can be only a Yale employee; you cannot hold multiple jobs at the same time. And it constitutes a career. The career means there is a ladder. You have some sense how you will progress in this bureaucratic hierarchy. Again, universities are classical bureaucracies-that you enter as an assistant professor; then you are, seven to nine years, depending on the institution, without tenure; then you are being promoted to tenure; then you expect at one point of time to become a full professor; blah-blah-blah. Right? This is what it meant, it is a career. And in many bureaucratic organizations, even in the business world--right?--you have a sense how you progress. In a law firm--right?--if you enter a law firm--right?--you have a pretty clear idea; it's actually very similar to the universities. Usually for seven years you are working for the law firm, and that's when you can become--right?--a partner in the law firm. Right? So you have a sense how your career will unfold. Well this is something we already kind of covered--right?--that you are separated from the means of administration, because you are subjected to discipline and control. Now comes the very controversial idea, and that we have to talk about it. Weber's claim, which is very much against commonsense, that the purely bureaucratic type of administration is capable of attaining the highest degree of efficiency. Well let me, on the other hand, from this citation, underline an important point here. And this is--of course Weber was talking about a very specific type of organization, bureaucracies, which were, relatively speaking, historically quite efficient--right?--the Prussian type of bureaucracy. But here he emphasizes-and these are two very important words--"from the technical point of view." Right? The bureaucracy, from the technical point of view, is the most efficient organization. It does not necessarily mean that it does achieve the highest welfare for people who are seeking to navigate in a bureaucratic organization. But technically speaking, it is the most efficient. Why? Because it has a very high degree of predictability. I mean, this predictability might suggest that it will take you a long time to get through of that bloody red tape--right?--what the bureaucracy imposes on you. But you know exactly the red tape, and you know, if you are stuck, how to try to appeal and to get the process moving. And therefore the crucial issue he said, why the bureaucracy is so efficient, because it is technically competent and it is predictable. And this is what makes it actually so--to fit so well with a market. Well he said, "And what else?" If it is not bureaucracy, how can you otherwise organize an organization? If it is not done bureaucratically, then it is dilettantism. Right? And you may want to think about this. Now here comes the question about how does bureaucracy and capitalism fits into? And now he makes a very intriguing, very provocative claim. I think it is

very deep, and deserves your attention. He said, "The primary source of superiority in a bureaucratic administration lies in technical knowledge." Right? Bureaucracy is domination through knowledge. Well, a very provocative, very important claim. Right? Bureaucracy is-right?--the par excellence meritocratic organization--right?--where people who are issuing command are issuing command with the assumptions that they are the most competent people to carry this out. Well whether this is the case or not--you remember, Weber is always operating with ideal types, or pure types. The concrete cases may be different from it. You may have people who are not competent to exercise the authority, what they do exercise. But I think it is important that you have the ideal type, because then you can be upset, and you say, "These bloody bastards." Right? "It is incompetent; cannot do the job." And then you can appeal and to say, "Why don't you remove this person, because this person does not know what his or her job is?" And actually such appeal very often is consequential. People occasionally are removed their position if their incompetence is being demonstrated. Well this is very difficult to do at a university, because universities, we have this system of tenure. You know? After you've suffered for seven years as an assistant professor, you are promoted to tenure, and then it is very difficult to get you out of the job. But even at the university this is possible. If you find out that I'm completely incompetent--right?--you document that I am incompetent--right?--that I am just misinterpreting all the authors you had here. And then you can appeal--right?--to the university, and you can say that I really should be removed; my tenure should be invoked. And if I'm found to be incompetent, I will lose my job; but the only way to do it, is through my incompetence. But actually universities very rarely do it, because it's a very painful exercise. But because they are bureaucracies there is--right?--the rule that it can happen, and it should happen in these cases. And then he said, "Well from this point of view, it really does not matter whether an economy is organized as a capitalistic economy, based on private ownership, or whether it is organized as a socialist economy, based on public ownership." Right? And, in fact, now he goes even further; and it's very interesting what he's got to say here. He's writing somewhere in 1919, 1920. The Soviet Union already exists, Soviet Russia already exists. There is already a society which calls itself socialist, which eliminated private ownership. And he said, "Well socialism would require a still higher degree of formal bureaucratization than capitalism." That's a very interesting idea. Though until now he suggested--right?--that the bureaucratic organization fits the best with free market economy, now he said actually socialism will be even more bureaucratic.

And then I think what comes very--it's a very intriguing idea, and he said, "But the big problem with socialism is that there will be a big conflict here between the formal rationality and substantive rationality, what the bureaucracy carries out." And you know by now--right?-or you have at least a hunch what he's getting at between formal and substantive rationality. Right? Formal rationality is that you are simply implementing the rules of the game. Substantive rationality is you are actually concerned with the welfare, the substantive goals of the action. And he said, "Well, if you have a publicly owned economy, centrally planned economy, then the central planners make substantive decisions about the economy." They decide, for instance, where government or taxpayer money should go to--which branches of the economy should be investment going to. Right? In a capitalist economy, governments typically cannot do that. Right? They set the rules of the game. Well the best--they manage interest rates and they may be able to manage the currency exchange rate, but they cannot allocate resources across the economy. Of if they do, then people will say, "We are on the road to socialism." Right? To the extent substantive rationality is involved. But he said, "Well if it is socialism, there will be this big tension." Right? You cannot be at the same time formally rational and substantively rational. You either consider the content of your decisions, or you are concerned simply with the procedures of the decision. If you are concerned with the procedure, that is formal rationality. If you are concerned with the content, that is substantive rationality. Let me just give you one example about the legal system. Indeed, in Communist societies-and probably to some extent even China today, much less so than it was let's say thirty of forty years ago--well when justice is being served by the court, the court is not blind to who the people who are being accused of committing some crime is. The communist legal system called itself a class law; that, in fact, the purpose of the legal system is not to be blind--right?-who committed the crime. The purpose of the legal system is--that was the kind of legitimacy claim under Communism--to defend the interests of the working class. Right? And therefore that was specifically a legal system based on substantive rationality. Right? Well capitalist legal systems tend to be procedurally--right?--rationalistic, formally rationalistic. In principle it doesn't matter who the person is when you are serving justice. This is again the ideal. Right? In concrete cases actually judges might consider some substantive characteristics of the person who is on trial, not simply to implement the law. May consider as mitigating circumstances--right?--for instance, when they are passing the law. And, of course, there are other reasons how actually substantive considerations enter the game. You know? If you are white and rich, you can hire a better defense lawyer and your chances to get off the

hook within the same rules are better. So substantive considerations enter the thing. But that's the exception; that's not supposed to happen. We are angry when this happens. Right? We want to have a faceless legal system. Right? Justice is blind. Right? This blindness of justice means--right?--this is simply procedurally just--right?--and not substantively so. Right? This is why justice is shown with blind eyes. Now what are the consequences of bureaucratization? Here are some of them. He said there is a tendency of leveling of interest; since everybody is in principle equal before the law and therefore interest will be leveled. You are not supposed to take into account people's position in it. Well there is a tendency--meritocratic tendency--that people higher up will have higher levels of training, or more training, as such. And--this is again justice is blind--what is important is that the essence of a bureaucracy has to be a formalistic impersonality: sine ira et studio, without hatred and passion. Right? This is why occasionally you are kind of upset when you are confronted with the bureaucracy. You have a special problem--you know?--and then the bureaucracy tends to be insensitive to your special problem--right?--when it is a real bureaucracy. Right? You can say, "I just had a fight with my partner and this is why I cannot take the test." Well, sine ira et studio. I mean, in a real bureaucratic, discussion leader or professor will say, "Too bad. This is your personal business. The test is right now." Right? "You take it or leave it." Well, I mean, we are usually not that stupid bureaucrats. But that's the spirit of bureaucracy. Right? Without hatred and passion; that also means that you are not motivated by personal feelings. You don't differentiate this is a person I like and then I give preferences; or dislike, and therefore give a worse grade. All right, there are a number of contradictions of bureaucracy. It is very formalistic. And he said there is also another interesting tendency. Though it is formalistic and it's supposed to go simply by the rules, occasionally, not only under socialism, in all systems the bureaucracy tends to have some sensitivity to substantive rationality, to the welfare of the people who are under the bureaucracy. And then it can be turned into a clientalistic system; the bureaucracy can have these tendencies. And think about welfare bureaucracies--right?--which do have a great deal of clientalistic tendencies built into them. Well, and there are these various limitations of bureaucratic authority. One is collegiality, division of powers, and representation. Well I don't want to dwell too long on the notion of collegiality. Collegiality, he says, really grows out of what we knew as professional groups or professional organizations. There are different ways how collegiality can operate. One way-that means that you are interacting with other people in the same organization, on the basis of collegiality. You can get a good sense of this collegiality; for instance, it's very important in

the medical profession. If you go to a doctor for a second opinion, this doctor is really not supposed to say that his or her colleague, the other doctor, really screwed it and he gave you the wrong diagnosis or the wrong therapy. Right? Collegiality means that you stick together-right?--that the profession sticks together. There is a very strong sense of collegiality among lawyers, or at least supposed to be. The ethic of the legal profession is very much collegiality. And it is also incidentally in the universities. I mean, faculty is not supposed to badmouth each other. Right? They certainly, towards students, they have to show that they have a collegial relationship with each other. Mutual respect binds them together. Occasionally there is what he calls veto collegiality; the collegiality does give veto right to certain people to run this organization. A single person can veto a decision, as such. Again, very typical in universities when it comes, for instance, to a decision whether somebody will be granted a permanent position in a university; so-called tenure, there is actually--the president of the university usually has a veto right and can veto. No matter that all bodies approved that, the president usually has a veto right--can veto that decision. It uses it very rarely, but occasionally it does use its veto right. So even in a collegially organized bureaucracy, there is these individual veto rights; otherwise, collegiality usually operates through the different committees and advisory boards. I mean, collegiality usually is emerging in a situation where you have a common trade or a common profession. That's when a group is being organized as a collegial bureaucracy, as such. And many of you will end up in professions in which you will have such a collegial environment, as such. Okay. The other issue is--which is also a limitation of the functioning of the bureaucracy--right?-collegiality meant--right?--that though the bureaucracy is supposed to be blind to individual differences, it's not always, because we have loyalties towards each other, based on our profession. Lawyers are loyal to lawyers, and doctors are loyal to fellow doctors, and professors have a degree of loyalty. Now the other one is division of powers. Well this division of powers, what Locke and Montesquieu and Rousseau were talking about, well it's a functional system--he cites Montesquieu about the separation of power--and that creates some degree of unpredictability in the system; but necessary, but creates some degree of unpredictability. Nevertheless, this is the way how to prevent tyranny. So therefore it is good for the economy; by what he means for the market economy. And then comes the question of representations, and different forms of representations. Well there are--again, representations can be democratic, but is not necessarily all that bloody democratic. In fact, there is a possibility of representation when the representation is

happening through some hereditary means. Traditional authority; people who were born in certain positions, like Montesquieu himself, was supposed to represent certain interests, which is beyond the personal interests of the person--right?; was supposed to represent the interests of the whole estate, what it was standing for. Well it's also--in modern times we do have a representation where representations can be selected by rotation or lot--in Ancient Greece this happened--and there can be a limited mandate; they are not representing necessarily the interest of the constituency and they can be recalled. This was typical of Communist bureaucracies. Or there can be what he calls free representation--it's what we would associate to democracy--where the representative is elected, rather than selected or appointed. But it is also not bound by instructions; is only obliged to express his own conviction. So this is what we have seen in the Congress happening. Right? That Democrats voted with Republicans, because those Democrats argued, "I'm not under party discipline." Right? "I am acting out of my conscience." Well a couple of ideas about free representation, and how it goes with a capitalist economy. Well what is crucial--right?--and Weber keeps coming back and back to this--what is vital for a capitalist economy is to be calculability and reliability. And well in early stages, in fact, there was property qualification, who could actually vote, and that was implemented in order to make the system more predictable for the propertied classes. There was a great deal of concern by the bourgeoisie to give universal suffrage, because they felt then this will be unpredictable, who will win the elections. In fact, very often, these were monarchs and absolutist monarchs, who were pushing for extension--right?--of suffrage, because they wanted to use this against the propertied bourgeoisie. That's again something very counterintuitive, but I think historically a very accurate understanding. Right? So one has to be very careful what exactly the relationship with a capitalist economic order and democracy is. Well so Weber's fundamental argument is what many people who do the history of the democratic movement will agree; others will disagree with him. Again, a good subject for discussion. Parliamentary free representation was the product between struggles; actually struggles between monarchs and the bourgeoisie. Well I think I'll just leave this here. I probably gave us enough food for the discussion. Thank you.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 21 Transcript November 12, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Good morning. Well I think it is high time that you start thinking about your final paper. Let me just one more time tell you what my expectation is. Right? There are three major blocks in the course. For each of the blocks there is a test. You have done two; one more will be done, last week of classes. I mean, the idea of the paper is that you do a little more ambitious work. Right? You link two of the blocks to each other. So you compare Hobbes' theory of human nature with Durkheim's theory of human nature, or

Hobbes, Rousseau and Durkheim, or something like this. Or you look at the question of power in Hobbes, Nietzsche and Weber. Right? Do two or three authors, as such. I also highly recommend you that you go what excites you the most. You pick a topic what you find exciting. If there was anything in this course what made you excited, write about it. Right? And you can use earlier essay topics, what you wrote up; that's no problem. That will be a new paper anyway--right?--because you have to link occasionally quite distant authors to each other. And talk to your discussion section leader, or send an email--it can be very short-just to make sure that you are on the right trajectory. Right? And probably your discussion section leader will give you just a two-sentence response to say, "Yes this seems to be fine." Or, "No you are taking on too many; there are two many authors. Why don't you do only two or three, rather than five, what you're suggesting?" Or, "Well you should be a little more ambitious." Right? This is the kind of feedback you should expect. And otherwise--let me also say that one more time--you know us in this course, we want to make these abstract theories relevant to your life. So therefore don't shy away. If you have opinions, if you can reflect how the course helped, or did not help, to understand yourself in society, do so. Right? But I think you really should talk to your discussion section leader, or at least on email, before you leave for the vacation. Because I want--when you are tired of turkey, or you had enough beer and watching football, and then you want to have fun, then you can start working on your final paper. Right? You don't leave it to the very end--right?-but you can use your spare time during Thanksgiving's break, to get started on it. And that's not a big deal. We want you to do something like six or, at most, eight pages; but more like six pages. This is not really much more than the usual test essays. Okay. Is that all clear? Any question about this? No. Anyway, we will try to be as un-bureaucratic about this as in a bureaucratic organization you can be. All right? As you have seen in this course, we were trying to break the rules of bureaucracy, and hopefully not at the expense of efficiency. All right, so this is Weber theory on class. And this is probably--Weber, next to Marx, is the most influential theorist of class. And they are also on a collision course with each other--a collision course in many ways. I will elaborate on this. But just to foreshadow, there are really three fundamentally important issues where Marx and Weber disagree. Marx, as you recall, identified classes in property relationship. Right? The class dichotomy was between those who owned capital and those who owned only their labor power. Weber, in contrast, defines classes on the marketplace, as market situations. So the relationship--this will be more complicated--but then the class relationship is between the employer and the employee; it is

between the manager and the worker, and not the owner--right?--and the possessor of labor power. Then Marx also said, "Well all history of humankind is history of class struggles." So Marx has a theory of class which is overarching the whole human history. Weber is very specific about this. Class is a modern phenomenon. Classes only emerged with the emergence of the market economy, market capitalism. Before capitalism they are not--the stratification system is not based on class, but it is based on status, and we will talk about the notion of status a great deal. And finally there is a third important political difference. Marx believed that class struggle gets more intense over time, and therefore the subordinated class eventually will revolt and overthrow capitalism. Weber believed that--in the opposite: Class struggle is the most intense in early stages, rough stages of capitalism, and as capitalism becomes consolidated and bureaucratized, class struggle is actually reduced. So these are the three fundamental differences. And this is the outline of the presentation today. So first of all I want to talk about the usual interpretation of Weber, and I want to challenge this interpretation. If you ever took a course in which Weber's theory of class was discussed, you usually had the interpretation what I present now. If you go on the internet and you find what Weber's got about class, this is what you get. I disagree with it, and I will try to show you why this is the wrong approach. The usual interpretation goes back to a British sociologist, Runciman, who wrote about this already in the 1960s--he's still active actually--and he interpreted Weber as offering a theory of social inequality in three dimensions. Again, go on the internet; ninety percent of internet posting on Weber and class will give you this view. What are those three dimensions? Status or prestige is one dimension; the second is class, usually defined by income or wealth; and the third dimension is power. And therefore if you look at stratification in society, people can be unequal in any of these-- can be privileged in any of these dimensions, or all of the dimensions, as such. Runciman's conceptualization of Weber's theory of class was extremely influential empirical research. There was a lot of empirical survey research carried out which was trying to measure how people fare in these three dimensions. Gerhard Lenski, who was Emeritus Professor, was professor at the University of North Carolina, created the theory of status inconsistency. The idea was that people actually can be high in one of these dimensions, and relatively low in another dimension. So, for instance, you are a professor of sociology. Then your prestige is sort of reasonable--probably somewhat higher than average. If you are a professor at Yale, it's sort of

even a little higher than average, substantially higher than average. Well in terms of income, if you are a professor of sociology you will be again only slightly higher than average--will not be very high. In terms of power, well you will be very low in the power hierarchy. At least in the United States--right?--nobody listens what sociologists are saying. Students do have to--right?--and occasionally they have to take a sociology course. That's the only power really a professor exercises. Well if you are a Supreme Court justice, then your prestige is extremely high; you are on the top of the prestige hierarchy, at least in the United States. If you are asking who is the most prestigious occupation in the United States? In surveys people will say to be a Supreme Court justice--right?--to serve on the Supreme Court. Well in terms of income, the Supreme Court justices probably don't do all that well. They probably do about as university professors do. Right? People in public service usually don't do all that well. I think probably a governor of a state is not earning more than a university professor. But in terms of power they will be very high. Right? Supreme Court justices are very high. Occasionally they can even appoint-right?--the President of the United States; if I may crack this joke. Right? Anyway, they are very powerful. Well if you think about a Mafioso. The prestige of a godfather, except in the Mafia, will be very low. Right? You regard it as criminal. In terms of income, will be on the very top. Right? In terms of power, well will have some power, but mainly in the Mafia, not really nationally. You see what they are getting at? So therefore you can measure status, class and power as three dimensions. And it is very helpful to understand whether the social status is crystallized. People who have high prestige also have high incomes and high power, and let's say somebody who is sweeping the floor--right?--will have very low prestige, very low income and no power at all. Right? So that is a useful way how to stratify society for upper-upper class to lower-lower class. That is the way how Weber usually has been used. Well I will challenge this. I don't think I'm the only one who does challenges. Anthony Giddens, I think, gets very close to what I am describing, though probably he doesn't stick his neck out as much as I do. My fundamental argument is that Weber's distinction between class and status is a historical distinction. And this is not accidental that this is an English speaking person, Runciman, who reads the notion of status the way how he reads it. Because if you know a little German, and you try to read Weber in German--you know that the word status is actually translated from the word Stand. And Stand, well it can be translated into English as status, but it's a not very good translation of the word. The better translation is estate. Now if you would translate Stand as estate, it would become obvious that what Weber is trying to

suggest, that there is something archaic about status stratification, as distinct from class stratification, which is a modern phenomenon. Right? So this will be one of the major points what I'm trying to make, and will try to show this from Weber text. Then the question is where is the third dimension? Right? As I've said, status and class are historical categories, but where is power? And when I was working on one of my books, I was very much attracted to Runciman's idea, and tried to interpret Weber this way. And, in fact, it appeared to me a great deal to use power as an independent dimension of the class position. I was trying to understand the social structure of communist societies, and their power appeared to be an independent dimension. So I was looking into the Weber text, and I read cover to cover Economy and Society a couple of times, and I could not find the third dimension. Read it: it is not there. So trying to understand what Weber is getting at, I came to the conclusion that for Weber power is the dependent variable. But he wants to explain where power comes from, and whether power exercised is exercised on the basis of class privileges, or whether it is a status type of, or estate type, of power which is exercised in society. And this is very consistent what you already know about Max Weber--right?--type of authorities, where power comes from. What legitimates power--right?--tradition or legal-rational authority? Right? Class stratification corresponds to societies based on legal-rational authority. Status stratification corresponds to traditional authority. All right? Well I will elaborate a little on this--will qualify this somewhat, primarily because Weber--like in his types of authority as well--has two balls in the air at the same time. He has a macro-theory--right?--of historical variations of stratification. For him, transition from traditional society in modern rational societies is a transition from estate type of stratification to class stratification. But Weber also has a micro-theory. He also said, "Okay, society today is primarily class stratified, but I can identify status power in modern societies as well," just exactly as he does with the types of authority. Yes, the United States today is legal-rational authority, but I can spot elements of traditional authority, or charismatic authority, operating within legal-rational authority. Since it is dominantly legal-rational authority, it will be secondary. Law will make a difference. But tradition in this society, in this very America today, does make a difference. Right? It is consequential where you are in society. Traditional authority is consequential. Right? We are all equal before the law, but in practice where we end up has a lot to do with tradition, traditional prejudices, the traditional way how power operates. The same goes for--he brings back the idea of status. This is why I said translating Stand as status is not completely wrong. It only gets a footnote in the Weber concept. Right? The

footnote is Stand is primarily a historical concept for past traditional societies. But by the way--this is the footnote--even in contemporary society, in class stratified societies, there is power occasionally exercised on the basis of status. Well and obviously the power which is exercised by a Supreme Court judge, or the power exercised by a university professor, the little one we have--that we may probably in some way try to change your mind--right?--which is an act of power, some would say even an act of coercive power. Right? Bourdieu called it symbolic violence. Right? I violate your mind; if I can penetrate your mind and put a new idea into your mind. Right? This is an act of power. Well it's primarily done, or a great deal done, by status; that you say, "Well, this is a professor who has a Ph.D., must know it." Right? Then it is really--right?--the reason why you start believing me has a lot to do with my status. Hopefully not only the status; hopefully I can make a good argument and persuade you. But occasionally--it's a mixture why you tend to believe me or disbelieve me. Right? And the very fact of the status, what I am incumbent of, has something to do--right?--of you trying to believe your professors. So let me work on the notion how Weber defines classes. And the most important issue is--the uniquely Weberian idea is that class has to be identified on the market. And then I will also say a few words about class interests and how he--to what extent he's different from Marx in this respect. So class and market. Now here you have famous definitions. He said class situation is determined by market situation. Class situation is ultimately a market situation. And this is very important now, as follows. Right? "The effects of naked possession per se is only the forerunner of real class formation." "Slaves", he said--or you can say serfs--"are not a class. They are rather a status group." Now here you can see--right?--the historical uses of the distinction between class and status. Right? And also the challenge to Marx. Those who have property and deprived from property do not constitute a class. And the fundamental argument for this is that in traditional societies it is not really property which puts you into a high status position. You being in a high status position has the consequence that you are wealthy. Right? So the king or the queen decides to give you nobility, and gives you an estate. Right? In capitalism this works the other way around. In order to become a billionaire--right?--you don't have to get the approval of the President of the United States. Simple enough: you go to Wall Street, you invest your money smartly. You start with a thousand dollars and in no time you have a billion--right?--if you invested it in a smart way. And then you are in the class--right?--of billionaires. Right? So here it is your property, and your activity on the marketplace, which helps you to enter the class. Right? In the aristocracy it was a legal act--right?--a political act, by a king or a queen, which made you nobility, made you a lord, and then as a consequence you became wealthy. Right?

It's also interesting, by the way, that well if you lost your wealth--there was some poor noble people--you still retained your status estate privileges. So if you were nobility, in most societies, for instance, you did not have to pay taxes. Now if you lost all of your estate, because you gambled--for instance--right?--you wanted to go to Monte Carlo where you gambled everything away--then you became very poor. You were still noble and you still did not have to--right?--pay taxes. Your status privileges remained. The opposite--right?--in capitalism. You start fully investing your money and you lose your money on the stock market, you cease to be a capitalist. Right? Then you will have to seek to find a job. Right? And since you lost all of your money, you probably will not find a very good job, because who wants to hire a loser? Right? Okay. This is also a very important citation from Weber. He said, "Class position really means that people have common life chances." Right? If you are located differently, there are positively and negatively--this is the Weberian point--positively and negatively privileged positions on the marketplace. And if you are negatively privileged in the marketplace, your life chances are not very good. Right? If you are positively privileged in the marketplace, then your life chances are great. You guys in this room are all very positively privileged--right?--because you are getting a Yale degree; and probably a Harvard degree would be even better for you. Don't tell Rick Levin that I said that in class. Right? But this is about the best degree what you can have. So you are extremely well-positioned on the labor market. Right? Your life chances are great. Right? You have to make a lot of mistakes to screw this one. Right? You are on the right trajectory. If you are in a community college--right?--or you are a high school dropout, then your life chances on the labor market will be lousy. Right? Especially you are poor, you are African-American, you dropped out of high school, well your chances that you will end up in jail before you turn thirty is, I think, seventy percent. So--right?--this is life chances-right?--which in this case, of course it is not only class. Right? There is a special type of status group. Right? Race, it also plays a role--right?--in your deteriorating life chances. Now let me also say that Weber actually suggests that you can think of classes on every single market situation. So, for instance, some people--and myself in my work--have been writing about housing classes. The differences between the owner of a house and the tenant who rents this house is a class relationship--can be interpreted as a class relationship. The landlords, very often by the tenants, are seen as bloodsuckers--right?--because they charge too high rent and they do not maintain your unit properly. You know? When you call them and you say that the water is dripping, and I need a plumber, they will find excuses why they do not fix your water, or why they do not fix your heating. Right? So they are bloodsuckers. Right? And, as a tenant, you are in a negatively privileged class position. That's true. But on the other hand

Weber is quite clear that there are two important market positions which fundamentally define your class position, and these are the labor market and, in fact, the capital market, will define whether you are--have good life chances or poor life chances. And all other positions, on other markets, will be a consequence of your position primarily on the labor market, or on capital markets. Well this actually brings Weber and Marx a little closer than it appeared for the first time--right?--because, as we will see, Weber does acknowledge that if there is a market economy, differences in property are very important to creating class positions. But, unlike Marx, he emphasizes this is only the case if there is a market economy in place. Now just very briefly about class interest and class action. And here he said, "Well the statement by a talented author"--he doesn't tell us who that author is; I assume it must be Karl Marx--"that the individual may be in error concerning his interests but the class is infallible about its interest, is false and pseudo-scientific." So he said, "Well the classes are actually not communities." Right? A community may have a kind of collective understanding. You belong to a class just because of your position of the labor market, and you actually--here he subscribes to Adam Smith. Right? Class members are individuals acting out of self-interest, and not acting out of collective interest. But they are in a similar position, and therefore they have common class interests, and--surprise, surprise-occasionally they will act the same way--right?--because they have a collective interest; but not as a community, but as rationally acting individuals, determined by their rational actions-right?--on the marketplace. And therefore, he said, "Well classes will really exist--well how can I tell that the classes really exist? I can tell if I see classes acting. Classes materialize in action--right?--because I speculatively cannot make any class distinction, but people will make distinctions for classes by acting upon their class interest." Now let's go on to the question of status groups; what are status groups? And well I briefly want to identify who status groups are, what status privileges are, and then status stratification and the caste, and the question of ethnicity in Weber. So what is a status group? Well, unlike classes, status group, or Stande--this is the plural of the word Stand--are nominally groups. Status groups means that you belong to a group--right?--and you have a high esteem, and you have a solidarity within the group. You have an honor; a certain honor is attributed to you when you are in a status group. Right? You are initiated--right?--into becoming a nobleman by an act of the king or the queen. Well in order to get a university degree, you are initiated--right?--into a status group. In a way to earn a university degree--a Bachelor's degree, a Ph.D.--is entering in some ways a status group. It's not accidental that we wear these funny medieval robes on those ceremonies where

the degree is conferred on you. And many professions which require formal university training act as a status group; like the doctors constitute--right?--a status group. Like, in some ways, university professors constitute a status group. Lawyers constitute a status group, and they somehow control ethics and entrance into the law profession. Right? There you have to pass a board exam if you want to become a lawyer. Right? And, in fact, states will make--in California, if you want to move to California, you want to get a law degree and you want to move to California, you will sweat blood--right?--to pass the board exam. If you want to go to South Dakota, you will easily pass the board exam. Because there are not many lawyers who want to be lawyers in South Dakota, but there are many lawyers who want to be lawyers in San Francisco, and therefore the board, California board, will be much stricter than the South Dakota board. The same goes for medical exams. Right? It will be--again you have to pass exams, and it will be different, depending on the labor market condition. And it's very important: The status honor is expressed with a specific lifestyle. The way how you dress, the way how you eat, the way how you behave, is constituting what is status group. Traditionally--right?--noblemen could wear arms; non-nobles couldn't. And well if you are a Yale professor you wear J. Press. Right? I mean, not everybody does, but you can tell this is a Yale professor. You can see this is a J. Press coat. So there are--right?--lifestyles, what in a way, even in modern society, constitute status groups. Even within class stratification, you have this uniquely lifestyle specific stuff, what you adapt in order to belong to this status group kind of subgroup within a class. So if you are a "yuppie"--young urban professional, right?--you get a nice job on Wall Street, you move to Manhattan. Right? Then you rent out-right?--or buy a condo somewhere in a Trump building. Right? Then you want to be driven by a limo to your workplace. You will be reading Wall Street Journal, and you will be going-right?--and you will be having croissants for the morning. Right? You see what I'm getting at. Right? You will be dressed in a certain way. People can tell--right?--this person must be a broker--right?--on Wall Street. There are these lifestyle characteristics what in a way creates an almost status group. You know each other. Right? You recognize each other. Right? There are places where you hang together. Right? There are yuppie places. You look outside and you know this is a yuppie bar, filled with yuppies. This is the lifestyle by which you have status. There are also, of course, status privileges--which is ideal and material goods, which is a consequence of you being in that status group, rather than the source of it. And there are also specific special employment opportunities, if you belong to a status group, and it's being controlled this way. I mean, the medical profession is a very good example. And it's being actually debated and questioned why on earth do we need a system in which people have to

have registered--do have to have a medical degree in order to practice medicine? Right? Why on earth people do have to have a law degree in order to appear in court and defend somebody in court? Right? These are kind of status group barriers to enter the system. Well the market, on the other hand, knows no personal distinction. On the market it matters whether you are successful or you are a failure. Right? And therefore if you have these status group kind of privileges, this is a limitation on the functioning of the market. Right? And therefore stronger the status groups are, it can be a hindrance of free development of a market economy. And now an idea about caste and ethnicity. He said if the boundaries between status groups are particularly sharply drawn, in that case we can talk about castes. The caste differences occur, for instance, when there are prohibitions to intermarry between castes. Lower castes are usually seen as polluted, as dirty; you even cannot touch them, or if you did touch a low class person, let's say in Indian culture, you have to go some purification procedures. Right? And he said status groups--segregation grows into castes, that transforms a horizontal coexistence of ethnically segregated groups into a vertical social system. This is also very important--right?--his notion of ethnicity. It's a very innovative idea in writing this around 1920, about this. Right? The differences are held to be ethnic, based on the belief that it has something to do with blood relations. Right? He does not believe--right?--that ethnic differences really have anything to do with blood relations. You have ethic or racial differences when there is a common belief that blood relations do matter and are socially consequential. He doesn't believe it is. Now class and status compared. I am sort of running out of time; don't want to operate on--to do too much on this. The point is--right?--that there is some kind of stability in status stratification. Class stratification is dynamic and conflictuous. This is where his idea will come from that, that in fact, class relationships are not becoming more antagonistic over time, but is becoming less antagonistic over time. But the point is, as you can see, that the main point is that there are two basic stratification systems: one based on status or Stand, and the other one is on class stratification. Historical difference, but there is also a subtype of stratification in a class stratified society based on status differences. So what are--he makes a distinction between different types of classes. Let me just briefly rush through of it. He does not negate that there is actually a class based on property. There is actually--property differences can be very substantial, as long as they are operating in a marketplace. If your property can be sold or bought--which was not the case under feudalism--and if there is a labor market which complements capital markets, then differences in capital markets is the source of differences. But the most important distinction

is what he calls commercial classes. And commercial classes are based--right?--on the market situation, and particularly especially based on labor markets. And therefore the basic class distinction for Weber, in modern society, is between management and employees, rather than owners of capital and owners of labor power; unlike Marx. And that, I think, is a very insightful argument, at least an important qualification on Marx, or probably a useful replacement of Marx with a better fitting theory to understand modern societies. Okay, and then there are--he introduces the notion of social classes. There is a third type of class in modern society, which is social class. And what is social class? People are in a social class situation when individual and generational mobility is easy and typical within that class. And then he said, "Well what are social classes?" And interestingly he said, "Well these examples are--working class is a social class, the petit bourgeoisie is a social class." The basic argument here is working class is not a commercial class. Working class--well he's writing in the nineteenth [correction: early twentieth] century. But it's still to some extent true in the United States today, probably the least so in the U.S. than in other economies. Then being working class was certainly very true in Europe, probably less so now, but even during the second half of the twentieth century in Italy and France there was a very strong working class consciousness. You were proud of being working class. In the U.S. the term working class hardly exists. Right? We are talking about the working people rather than the working class. But in Italy or in France there was a very strong identity of being a working class--very clearly identifiable lifestyle features. Not that even, in fact, in the United States you can't really--you usually can tell, I think, with ninety percent certainty, if you walk into a tavern--right?--who is a manual worker and who is not a manual worker. Right? The way how people behave, the way how people dress, gives you a very good clue. And in France or in Italy, to some extent even in the United States, working class will say, "Well, it was good enough for me to be a plumber. Why on earth my son doesn't want to be a plumber and continue my business as a plumber? That's good enough." Right? If it was good enough for me, should be good enough for my son. How he understands social class as distinct from economic class. You become social class when you will say--well you are in working class and your daughter is dating a lawyer. Then you will say, "Can't you find a decent working class guy? You want to date with this egghead?" Again, in the United States it is much less common. Right? There is many more marital mobility across class lines--much less so in Italy or in France, even today. Anyway, this is social class, but as you can see, social class in a way bringing back the idea of status groups. It is a modern version of status group, what is being constituted as a social class.

because it has a lot to do with lifestyles, values, culture--right?--and typical patterns of mobility and aspirations, as such. Well that's about it. Thank you very much.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 22 Transcript November 17, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Good morning. Now we move to our last author in this course, to mile Durkheim. There are really two Durkheims. We have seen certainly two Marxs and two Webers. There are also two faces of mile Durkheim. To put it bluntly, the young Durkheim has been a functionalist and a positivist, and then late in his life he has--his epistemological turn--he became a cultural analyst. Well it's not quite true, because each author is more complex, and there were already elements of his culturalism in the early work. But there was certainly a dramatic change in the way how Durkheim conceived what the job of social sciences, later in his life, in his book The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. I think it had a lot to do also with his personal life, and we will talk about this.

He was brought up in a rabbinical family and was supposed to become a rabbi, and then he revolted against the parental household--much like Nietzsche did--and turned probably into an atheist, but certainly not an active believer in Judaism. And later in his life he became again interested in religion, and not only philosophically, but also existentially interested in religion. Well in the course we have only four lectures on Durkheim. So I'll leave Durkheim the culturalist out, and we will be doing work only on his earlier work, The Division of Labor, the wonderful book Suicide, and a somewhat difficult book, The Rules of Sociological Method. And I'll just leave The Elementary Forms of Religious Life; I don't have time to fit this into. Durkheim had an extraordinary impact on American social science. Initially it was particularly the younger Durkheim, the functionalist Durkheim, who had such an extraordinary impact. Unlike Weber or Marx, whose impact was broad and affected history and economics and political science, Durkheim's impact was much more focused on sociology. So in this course the only author who, properly speaking, is a sociologist is mile Durkheim. All the others you discussed were not really identified themselves as sociologists. Later in his life Weber did, but not on the whole. mile Durkheim identified himself and his project as sociology. It, of course, has a lot to do that these disciplinary boundaries between economics, political science, and sociology became much more sharply drawn by the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, and sociology as an academic discipline was really established by the late nineteenth century. So this is mile Durkheim--born in 1858 and died in 1917. Just very briefly about his life. He was born in a small town, pinal in France. As I said, his father was a rabbi and he was expected to become a rabbi himself. In '79, he was admitted to the cole Normale Suprieure, which is one of these very elite schools, MIT version in France, and by the time he went to university--cole Normale Suprieure is a university--he lost his religious beliefs. He was for some time a professor at the University of Bordeaux. Then he became politically active in the 1940s [correction: 1984], especially in the so-called Dreyfus Affair; and I will just briefly mention what that was. Then in 1902, he became professor at the University of Paris, which is not quite as distinguished as cole Normale Suprieure. His son was killed in the war, and shortly after this he died in Paris. So this is Alfred Dreyfus. This is a very important event in French, and in many ways in European, history. What was the Dreyfus Affair? You probably all know. In 1894, Dreyfus, who was Jewish, was falsely accused to be a German spy, and was imprisoned. That was obviously an anti-Semitic trial, and this mobilized the French intellectuals, and not only French intellectuals, but French intellectuals in particular. mile Zola, whom some of you

may have read, the leading French writer of this epoch, wrote an important article which appeared in the leading French daily newspaper: J'Accuse--"I accuse the French judiciary of being anti-Semitic." Well Durkheim joined other prominent French intellectuals to protest the trial. It took them a long time but eventually they were successful. Dreyfus was eventually exonerated of all charges and made a Knight of the Legion of Honor. So it was a happy ending of French anti-Semitism, for awhile. Then it came back with vengeance during the occupation, Nazi occupation. The French are not as innocent about anti-Semitism as you may want to believe it. Many were collaborating with the Nazis. Well about the work. In '93 he wrote a dissertation, which probably is still his most influential book, The Division of Labor in Society, and today's lecture will be focused on this. '95, it was followed by TheRules of Sociological Method, which is his most positivistic statement. The Division of Labor is his most functionalist work. And then in '97 he wrote Suicide. Suicide is a very important book because it's really the first piece of rigorous empirical social science, which takes a very unusual, very rare phenomenon, like suicide, and crunches numbers extremely carefully to test whether he can identify social determinants of such a rare phenomenon. Fortunately even in countries where many people commit suicide, it's still a rare phenomenon. But he managed to come up with a very provocative theory, what he demonstrated with very careful empirical analysis. We will be looking at two parts of The Division of Labor. Today we will be looking at the major arguments of Division of Labor. And then also we will look at, Thursday, on his theory of anomie, which is a central piece of the book, Division of Labor, but a kind of by-the-way analysis. And, as I said, in 1915 he wrote this book, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, which is a major break in his work, and shows his renewed interest in the spiritual and the metaphysical. Okay, just very briefly, what is in the books. As I said, The Division of Labour was his Ph.D. dissertation. But unlike many scholars whose only good book is their dissertation, Durkheim followed it up with a number of good other books. Many professors are actually one book people, or at least they should have been, because their only good book was the dissertation and what they published later only published because 'publish or perish'--right?--to get tenure; that's why they probably published too many books. Anyway, he was inspired by Montesquieu. Well Durkheim is very French, and his roots are deeply in Montesquieu, and to some extent in Rousseau; he admired Rousseau as well. But Montesquieu is really the major inspiration behind him. And well what he does, he uses law as a measure of social development--much like Montesquieu did, sort of--and he explains, by using the law, the

legal system how the division of labor evolved, what were the stages of the development of division of labor. Well just a very brief contrast. Right? Marx was interested in economic conflict--right?--in struggle around scarce economic resources. Weber was interested in struggle for power. So was Nietzsche. Durkheim was interested in social solidarity. Marx and Weber are conflict theorists. They try to explain what breaks up society. Durkheim is a theorist which tries to understand what holds society together, what brings us together, why society is not falling apart. Right? Well in the book he makes a crucial distinction between two types of solidarity: mechanical and organic solidarity. And I will speak about this at great length. This is another attempt to develop a typology of evolution of societies. You are already familiar with Marx's modes of production--right?--the evolution from slavery to feudalism to capitalism. You are familiar with Max Weber: traditional authority and legal-rational authority. Now Durkheim's alternative is mechanical and organic solidarity. Right? What Weber called traditional authority is kind of mechanical solidarity for Durkheim; or what Marx called pre-capitalist formations is mechanical solidarity. Organic solidarity described legal-rational authority or modernity or capitalism. Well he also identified pathological forms of division of labor, and this is what he called anomie. And his idea of anomie is a kind of similar or analogous distinction, what was alienation in Marx and what was disenchantment in Weber--though there are very important differences as well, and I will be talking about this Thursday. Now on Suicide--as I said, this is one of the first very rigorous empirical studies of a social phenomenon--a phenomenon we think is not quite social, we think it is really an individual decision whether you take your life or not. But Durkheim actually was capable to show that even in this very private action, when you take your life, there are social determinants, who is committing suicide or not. And he's making a distinction between different types of suicide-anomic, altruistic, egoistic and fatalistic ones--and I will be talking about this after you return from Thanksgiving's break. Now about the methodology. He was a methodological collectivist, much like Montesquieu or Rousseau, and very much unlike Hobbes, Locke or Mills; you know, Marx being kind of halfway between methodological individualism and collectivism. As a theorist of revolutionary consciousness, he was a methodological collectivist. We will see Durkheim's notion of collective conscience is not all that different from Marx's idea of class

consciousness, which is not the sum total--right?--of the individual consciousness of workers. But Marx, in his theory of exploitation, as you have read his text, reads almost like Adam Smith, or John Stuart Mill. Right? It's self-interested, rational individuals, from which he explains the nature of exploitation. Well it's much more difficult to figure out how Weber fits into these categories. I think he's also vacillating between collectivism and individualism. Later in his life he's becoming more of a methodological individualist. But Durkheim, the consistency in Durkheim, is that from day one he's a methodological collectivist, and remains a methodological collectivist. But at the same time he believed in the existence of social facts, and that social facts, on the other hand, can be observed with rigorous empirical methodology; and this is what makes him, in a way, a positivist. So this is just a brief introduction to who the author is. And now let me move to the division of labor. Well my computer is getting slower, as the semester is progressing. So it's probably time for the semester to end, because my laptop, though it is new, it still will become unbearably slow by the end of the semester. Okay, so this is mile Durkheim and the division of labor in society. So how does Durkheim proceed in the work? And today's presentation will focus on the question why Durkheim begins the analysis by taking the law as the point of departure. And then we will proceed how he makes the distinction between organic and mechanical solidarity. So the question actually is, for a methodological collectivist, that you need to find some collective expression, in order to study society--not individuals. And much like Montesquieu, he believes that the law is such a collective phenomenon; law, which can be studied and established without studying individual views or individual opinions. Right? It's parts of what--Durkheim's terminology is the collective conscience, and which is above individual consciousnesses. Okay, so that's--what are the most important issues in the work, as far as we'll discuss it today? Well he's interested in solidarity. As I pointed out, we are--his real question is what holds society together? We are so different, societies should fall apart. Right? He is writing in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century. This is the time of industrialization, of urbanization. People are dislodged from their traditional communities, from the traditional villages, pushed away from peasant agriculture, and move into urban industrial employment. And the question is will society break down, will social order break down, if the traditional order does not keep us together? And this is what he tries to figure out; what in a modern urban and industrial society can keep us together? And he tries to find solidarity. And well what creates this solidarity is collective consciousness.

And the fundamental idea in Durkheim about collective consciousness--as I said, it is analogous to the notion of the general will in Rousseau, or the notion of class consciousness in Marx. So therefore it is not the sum total of individual consciousnesses, but something of shared norms, beliefs and values, which exist prior an individual is being born, prior society actually existed, which is passed on from one generation to the other. Right? And therefore he tries to show--right?--these collective consciousnesses which persist over time. And, of course, the most obvious, most rigorous way to go about this, to look at law. Because that's exactly what the law is. Right? The law is changing over time, but usually the change is very slow and reaches over several generations. So for somebody who is a French social scientist, and one unique--we already talked about this. Well the French are very methodological collectivists. The Anglo-Saxons tend to be methodological individualists. And the French, unlike the Germans, are very scientifique; they are very much scientists. The word scientifique in German does not exist. The Germans say, "I'm Wissenschaftler";Wissenschaft means--Wissen is knowledge. Science in German is constituted by all sorts of knowledge. Right? It's a much broader notion. Right? In French, or in English, with science we really mean rigorous science of the natural science types. Well Durkheim did not go as far as saying it is natural science. But certainly he was very scientifique in insistence of rigorous analysis of objective data. Right? That's what--why the Germans--Wissenschaftler, all those who study ideas are Wissenschaftlers. It's a much broader notion. Natural scientists are also Wissenschaftlers. But people who study humanities and history of ideas are also Wissenschaftlers. People who are an expert on Hobbes and spend their life writing on Hobbes is a Wissenschaftler--right?--in German. We can hardly say somebody who does--right?--history of ideas to be a scientist. Right? We are iffy. We call it humanities. We talk about social sciences with a lot of anxiety, and real scientists ask us, "Social science, what do you mean? What is science about what you are doing?" Well those of you who take economics, they make sure it looks like science, because you have all the equations on the blackboard. So therefore a scientist can relax. But if you are listening to my lectures, and not a single equation on the blackboard, you probably have doubt that this is really social science. Anyway, he was scientifique, in the sense of being very rigorous in his analysis. Sort of what is collective consciousness--I give here a citation for you. Right? It is a totality of beliefs and sentiments which are common to the average member of society--right?--but which has a life of its own. Right? That's what he calls collective consciousness. So this is different from the consciousnesses of the individuals; though he's a scientist. Right?

He's scientifique. It has to be realized in individuals. So therefore, I mean, Durkheim would not necessarily be opposed to carry out even survey research, and ask individuals about their customs or values, and sort of aggregate this up and try to find those patterns, especially over time and across nations. That's not really what he did. But I think he would be open for this kind of research, which, of course, made him so influential in early American sociology in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, because American sociology has been very positivist and very empirical. Well but the most obvious example of collective conscience is the law--probably also the language. Well there are differences in law in pre-modern and modern societies. Now we are getting into--he's building the argument up to make the distinction between mechanical and organic solidarity. And let me just go through of this. So the argument is then in pre-modern societies the law which existed is primarily a repressive or penal law. Well there is--the purpose of punishment is to punish evil behavior. And we tend to agree what is evil behavior is, and punishments therefore also tends to be harsh, to prevent further aggressive behavior by individuals. So this is the legal system of pre-modern societies. Well I will give you a couple of citations, and I won't read them. I will put them on the internet and you can read it at your leisure. It kind of elaborates on the points what I made. Okay, but in modern society the legal system is very different. The legal system is based on contract; the essence of modern legal system is contract. It's not that we do not have a penal code--right?--the penal code survives. But what is novel is contractual law, which is restitutive; which is not about punishing evil, but simply restitute the damage somebody, by breaking a contract, caused to the other contracting partner. Right? And he said, well this is a new type of law which emerges with modernity. Marx would say it is a new legal system which emerges with legal-- with capitalism, and Weber would say this is the essence of legalrational authority. Well why does he study law? I don't want to elaborate on this too long. That's obvious-- that the legal system is the single best measure of what he tries to get at, collective conscience, which can be studied the most objectively. Right? There are law books and legal practices and minutes of recordings how the courts operated, and how law was made and implemented, which can be studied with a great level of rigor. For instance, it's very easy to study whether indeed contractual law is a new form of law. You can go back to legal history and to establish exactly when contractual law emerged. This was actually also very much on the mind of the young Weber, when he was also looking at basically the emergence of contractual law in late medieval Italy, in his Ph.D. for the law degree.

I think I already made this point, what is interesting, that Durkheim and Weber sort of ignored each other. I don't think they ever cited each other. I don't recall ever seeing a citation to one another, though they were working on the same area. Of course, they both did speak both of the languages, and they were, of course, aware that the other giant exists. They were probably, in many ways, too close--too much in competition with each other--to cite each other. I mentioned already that Durkheim did review Marianne Weber's book, but never any of Weber's books, though Marianne was writing--right?--about marriage law, which was of marginal interest to Durkheim, and Weber was writing on religion, which was so central for Durkheim's interests. Nevertheless they kind of ignored each other. Now about the two types of solidarity. Well mechanical solidarity--it's hard to remember the distinction. One would think organic solidarity must be old--right?--and mechanical must be modern, the machines. Now the opposite is true. I kept making these mistakes for the first two or three years when I was reading Durkheim, some forty-five years ago. Well mechanical solidarity is which describes pre-modern societies, and this is a solidarity which is based on the similarities of the parts. Well this is why you can have a penal law, because a penal law does not make a distinction between contractual partners; it assumes a sameness of the group as such. And mechanical solidarity--right?--as I said, is primarily based that we see ourselves similar in the group. Organic solidarity, so will Durkheim argue, is one which is based on differences in society. A higher level of division of labor in society produces organic solidarity. Organic, he meant, it is a kind of biological analogy. Modern societies, like the human body. Right? There are functional differences between the human organs. That's why it is organic solidarity. Right? The heart performs a different function than the lung, but the lung could not live without the heart. Right? This is why this is organic solidarity. Society operates more like an organism. In earlier times, society was more operating like a machine where you actually--a part is taken out, mechanically it doesn't matter all that much. Right? It is a simple machine, I mean. So that's the fundamental distinction. By the way, also for Durkheim--and this is also in the text what you are reading--this distinction between mechanical and organic solidarity is developed in order to describe societies as such. But much like Weber's notion of traditional authority and legal-rational authority, he is also using this to understand society--social solidarities in contemporary life. So mechanical solidarity does exist in contemporary society as well. And he makes this reference to finding a marital partner, whom we want to date with, and whom we consider to marry. And occasionally we are--we try to find somebody who is more similar than we are,

and people will say, "Well you look like"--if you are heterosexual--"like brothers and sisters". Or if you are gay, "Well you look like brothers" or "You look like sisters." Right? You look the same, you look similar. And that can be--right?--a consideration for a lasting partnership. I'm trying to find somebody who likes the same stuff what I like, who is like me. Right? But it can be the opposite as well. Right? You may be looking for a person--you may follow the logic of organic solidarity, right?--you may be looking for a person who will complement you. Right? I'm bad in keeping the books, and therefore what I am trying to look for is somebody who will balance the checkbook. Right? So occasionally looking for a partner, we are looking for somebody who will complement us. Now that describes--right?--modern society, with a higher level of division of labor. Division of labor, he said, can bring us together, much like the bodily organism, that we are performing different functions in society. We complement each other--we need each other-on the basis of our differences, rather than our similarities. And, in fact, the contractual law expresses the spirit of organic solidarity as such. Well Durkheim will show us that there is, in fact, a lot of trouble in the transition from mechanical to organic solidarity; and this is what he will call anomie. In the transition from mechanical to organic solidarity, moving from a traditional society to a modern society, our value system breaks down, we find ourselves in the situation of anomie. But this is a topic I will be talking about Thursday. Thank you very much.

Foundations of Modern Social Thought: Lecture 23 Transcript November 19, 2009<< back Professor Ivn Szelnyi: Okay, so today is about the notion of anomie. And anomie seems to be a very simple notion. Anomie means the state of normlessness, and therefore it's very easy to interpret--it looks like it is very easy to interpret anomie. I will show that's far from the case. In fact, Durkheim has a pretty complex notion about abnormalities in the transition to a market economy, in the transition to modernity.

But before I do so, let me come back to the issue of the division of labor in Durkheim. Though he stages the book with the idea of collective conscience, and goes long lengths explaining why he's using law as an indicator of collective conscience--and we discussed that at great lengths--when it comes to describing the crucial differences between mechanical and organic solidarity, he doesn't make much out of it really. What drives the analysis of this distinction, right, pre-modern and modern societies, to put it in other words--the crucial criteria is actually the division of labor. What drives the story is the division of labor. So in this sense, in fact, I think Durkheim can be understood as being greatly inspired by Adam Smith, right, who also saw evolution of human societies, as you'll recall, as a gradual evolution of the division of labor. Durkheim just does not offer such complex or sophisticated periodicization of societies, like hunting/gathering, and animal husbandry, and agricultural and commercial. He just makes this bipolar distinction between mechanical and organic. But if you ask, well yes there is a difference in the legal system. But what is fundamentally different is the division of labor. Right? Mechanical solidarity has little division of labor, based on similarity of the actors in the society. Organic solidarity has a great deal of division of labor, and a great deal of dissimilarity of the action. And this is puzzling, because the question is, if it is such a high level of division of labor, and such a great diversity, where on earth solidarity will come from, how we hang together? So that's, I think--we should appreciate how important the division of labor for Smith from Durkheim was. By the way, in some ways, even the early Marx, in The German Ideology, also tried his periodicization of society with the division of labor. So I think this is also the influence of Adam Smith. So I think there is a clear Adam Smith impact on the work of Durkheim, on the types of solidarity. There is also another issue I would like to mention. I pointed out how important, right, Montesquieu was for Durkheim. And it's obvious. He acknowledges his debt to Montesquieu, starts the book with collective conscience and the notion of--and law as the best empirically observable indicator of this collective conscience comes, of course, directly to Montesquieu. But there is another less frequently noticed impact of Montesquieu on Durkheim, and that makes actually Durkheim a very interesting author for us today. As I mentioned, he primarily has an impact today with his later work as the cultural analyst. But in his early work, he responded to another stimulating idea of Montesquieu, and that is the interaction between social system and the environment, and the ecological system. I went at some lengths in the lecture on Montesquieu to show how important it was, and how unique Montesquieu's contribution was--how important it is for us today, though he made it in a very nave way.

Durkheim actually has a much more sophisticated and complex understanding of the relationship between environment and society, and the type of solidarity, and the division of labor in society. Unfortunately, this is sort of a neglected element in Durkheim. Too bad because, in fact, the problem of environment and studying environment should be a central issue in economics, political science, sociology and anthropology. And it is not quite as central as it should be, especially I think in political science and sociology and anthropology. The study of environment is too narrowly focused on environmental social movements. Well Durkheim has a different interesting take, which I think should inspire social researchers; be they economists, political scientists, sociologists or anthropologists. What is it? Durkheim, in The Division of Labor, has a core of an idea what one can call the ecosystem. Right? He sees an inter-relationship between the physical environment, the size of population which lives in this physical environment, the technology which is used in this environment and the division of labor, and the type of social organization what we have, what kind of social solidarity you have. Let me just put this on the blackboard. I think this is rarely noticed. You will rarely hear in Durkheim's lectures, or rarely read about this when you read about Durkheim. So the idea is that you have the environment, you have the population, you have technology, and you have social organization, and these constitute a system, right, which interacts with each other; and what ought to be studied is really this whole system. And, of course, technology has a lot to do with division of labor. Right? And that's what can be called the ecosystem. He doesn't call it this way, but environmental researchers would call it today as the ecosystem. And I think this is an extremely productive way for social scientists to think about the problems of the environment. Right? And let me give you an example. Why don't you think about Southern California? Right? Southern California, before the Europeans appeared on the scene, right, was a very dry climate-suffered from the lack of water resources. So the Los Angeles Basin probably could accommodate a livelihood for something like 20,000 people. Right? These 20,000 people, right, lived in this very arid environment, used very elementary technologies, and had a very limited division of labor. So the population size was greatly affected with the technology and the environment. And they had mechanical solidarity. Right? That was the way how society was organized. Now today we've figured out how to solve the hydraulic problems for the Los Angeles Basin, for the time being. Don't hold your breath because in no time we may have a major crisis. So in the same basin where 20,000 people lived, now twenty million people live. But they live at a very high level of technology, where we successfully pollute the air, which is, right, hard to

breathe in downtown Los Angeles during a hot summer day. Right? And we have, of course, organic solidarity operating. Right? And we managed to screw the environment, thank you, quite nicely. And we keep doing it, in no time the LA Basin will be uninhabitable. Right? That's why I think it is interesting to think about this Durkheimian idea of ecosystem, how it interacts. As I said, it would offer you a very rigorous, right, scientific framework to study the interaction, right, between social organization, the demographic problem, the tech