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CULTURE AND ANARCHY BY MATHEW ARNOLD

INTRODUCTION:
“Culture is properly described as the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection”.

Matthew Arnold was a poet of Victorian period. He was born on 24th of December, 1822 in England. He
was a British poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of school.
He was the son of Thomas Arnold the Headmaster of Rugby School. He had two brothers namely Tom
Arnold &William Delafield Arnold. Tom Arnold was a literary professor and William Delafield Arnold
was a novelist and colonial administrator. He was famous in genres such as poetry: literary social
and religious criticism. Matthew Arnold has been characterized as a Saga writer, a type of writer
who chastises and instructs the reader on contemporary social issues.

Culture And Anarchy is a series of periodical essays by Matthew Arnold, which was first published
in Cornhill magazine in 1867:68. Anarchy is a controversial philosophical work, the essay argues
for a restructuring of England`s social ideology it reflects Arnold`s passionate conviction that
the uneducated English masses could be modeled into conscientious individuals who strive for human
perfection through the harmonious cultivation of all their skills and talents. Arnold`s famous
piece of writing on culture established his high Victorian cultural agenda that remained dominant
in debate from the 1860s until 1950s.a cultural condition of Arnold`s thesis is that a state
administrated system of education must be replace the ecclesiastical programmed which emphasized
rigid individual moral conduct at the expense of free thinking and devotion community.

Here we first talk about CULTURE and then move towards ANARCHY later;

CULTURE:
There is no specific definition of Culture we have, following are some valid lines
and views about Culture.
Culture includes the gathered knowledge of the group, social interactions and behaviors which
govern the group through the social contract.
A Culture is a way of life of a group of people.
Culture is not confined to any particular group size or geographical area, although both can play a
part in the development. It is not a mutually exclusive idea and many people belong to several
cultures at the same time.
Culture is a collective programming of the mind that distinguished the members of one group or
category of people from another.
Culture is actually the term which originally meant the Cultivation of human and soul.

ARNOLD’S VIEW ON CULTURE:


According to ARNOLD’S view, he says that;
“Culture is a study of perfection”
He saying that Culture is perfection, he feels that Culture emerges from curiosity and curiosity is
the outcome of desires when these desires transformed in to curiosity then we lead towards the
perfection.
That is why ARNOLD is saying that Culture is name of perfection or is the study of perfection.
As far as ARNOLD concerned Culture is idealistic element, he sets some standards for it, and if we
talk about standards; means what kinds of standards? Then he described in two different passions
that are following,
• SCIENTIFIC PASSION CULTURE.
• SOCIAL PASSION CULTURE.

SCIENTIFIC PASSION CULTURE:


According to ARNOLD scientific passion always based on
the intelligent and intellectual thinking and things that come from our important part of brain, he
says that scientific passion required thinking that travels from intelligent to more intelligent
and then towards best intelligent.

SOCIAL PASSION CULTURE:


Social passion is the product of self experiences, it is
actually a practical passion or tactical aspect of mind, society and culture.
In this passion culture gave us responsibilities that make society happier; it is duty to everyone
that to bring positive change in society means to play a role for the sake of good society.
If scientific passion and social passion combined together then we find perfection and the
phenomenon regarding with the name of CULTURE.
Culture is always not remained in same state or in static condition, it is changeable with the
passage of time or according to requirement of society, means it is having dynamic properties.
According to ARNOLD point of view Culture remains within us in the form of manner. The culture is
the only thing that differentiates human from animal. It is the source of perfection in our
humanity.
He added more words for the features of the Culture and we can see there is a comparison between
Culture and Religion, he says that Religion is the deepest representation of human thinking;
religion is more concerned about moral values and no doubt it also very handy in terms of
perfection. Culture has nothing to do with religion or God. But at some they are a part of the
Culture. One cannot possess culture but surely one can have personal mental growth by culture.
Culture conceives perfection.
ARNOLD says that religion is limited and culture has a superior nature as compare to religion,
according to him religion fails to led towards culture because religion is only concerned about
morality and nothing more.
Culture is having unique identity and culture is actually a cultivator for free individuality.
Culture is not useless or worthless thing, but it s very important function to fulfill mankind
because culture developed all sides of our humanity; and as a general perfection, it developing all
parts of our society.

IDEA OF GREATNESS:
If we talk about the idea of greatness in society then as we know, that time was the time of
Industrialization and Britain was developing in Imperialism and more other fields. There were lots
of people who believe that there should be more scientific discoveries, scientific inventions,
discoveries in industrial equipments and many others advancements. People feel proud to have all
mentioned features in their life; this was the concept of Greatness in the mind of the people who
belongs to Victorian era.
But ARNOLD said that greatness is all about Sympathy, Love, and Admirations and this greatness
leads towards perfection in life, he says that it is not greatness to have wealth, property, charm
and fame.
ARNOLD gave name to these elements MACHINERY; he added that Culture looks beyond Machinery that is
why this Machinery cannot give a way towards success.

According to Arnold
“Culture is harmonious perfection, developing all sides of
Humanity as a general perfection”

ANARCHY:
As we have many different definitions about Anarchy, here we are going to discussing
some of them given below;

• An estate withy out having any control of government over law and order situation is called
Anarchy.

In other words in political science and the study of international relations, the absence of any
authority superior to nation-states and capable of arbitrate their disputes and enforcing
international law.
• The term Anarchy is derived from the ancient Greek root anarchos (without authority),
denoting the absence of the rule of law or of settled government.

Whenever public protests ignite into violent behavior, the mainstream media are often quick to
refer to “anarchy” and to “anarchists”. Those who are referred to as anarchists are protesters
who burn tyres or engage in battles with the police. In this narrative, anarchists are lawless
hooligans and anarchy is about chaos and pointless violence.

We have three kinds of Anarchies in society with respect to classes,

Anarchy in Society:
Anarchy in Society:
Three Classes:
Barbarians Philistines Populace

The prevalence of anarchy in the relations between states is the basic assumption of realism, a
prominent school of thought in international relations theory. According to realists, international
law in practice imposes few direct constraints on the behavior of states, in part because there is
almost no way of enforcing it. In the absence of a super state power or arbiter, there are no
enforceable rules of conduct, especially for strong states. The harsh interstate environment is
anarchic both in the strict sense of lacking enforceable international law and in the broader sense
of being violently chaotic. The prevalence of this environment in turn requires that the primary
goals of individual states be survival and security.

Some scholars, especially those associated with the liberal approach to international relations,
believe that anarchy can be overcome, or “exited,” through international institutions such as the
United Nations (UN) and through the widespread acceptance of international law, especially by
strong states. For realists, however, the UN, at least in its present form, is incapable of
fulfilling that promise, since it has no coercive power that is independent of the will of the
major powers. Thus, according to realists, unless the UN is fundamentally transformed or a genuine
world state is created, the state of anarchy will endure.

CONSEQUENCES OF ANARCHY:
Realists have argued that the prevalence of anarchy in the state system requires individual states
to be ruthlessly self-seeking. Because there is no super state actor capable of enforcing
international law, each state must provide for its own security. Thus, a structural anarchy is also
inevitably a self-help regime: every government reserves the right to decide what is just or
necessary for itself and to take up arms to pursue or enforce that decision. Because the best way
to achieve security under anarchy is to be powerful (both militarily and economically), self-help
leads naturally to power-maximizing behavior. In an anarchic state-system, power-maximizing
behaviour is therefore the normal behavior of all states.
The combination of anarchy, ruthless self-help, and power-maximizing behaviour by all states leads
to another realist assertion: in such an environment “war is normal,” as a leading realist
theoretician, the American political scientist Kenneth Waltz, claimed. In other words, war, or the
threat of war, is the primary means by which states under anarchy resolve conflicts of interest.
The readiness of every state in an anarchic system to defend its interests through organized
violence is the primary factor responsible for the development of internal cultures of militarism
and bellicosity (and an emphasis on maintaining honor i.e., international status).

ANARCHY AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF POWER:


Political scientists also suggest that under anarchic conditions, there is a moment when the danger
of large-scale war is most acute: when a sudden large shift in the distribution of power among
states occurs. Political scientists refer to such a shift as a power-transition crisis. The shift
can be either a dramatic increase in the capabilities of one of the main actors or a dramatic
decrease in the capabilities of another main unit. But when the existing distribution of privilege,
influence, and goods in a system becomes mismatched to the changing realities of power, the result
tends to be large-scale war, which in turn creates a new structure, a new configuration of
privilege, influence, and goods one better matched to the actual distribution of power.
Thus, major realignments of power, influence, and status within anarchic state systems have tended
to be accompanied by great violence what political scientists call hegemonic war. World War I is a
good example. Realists hold that power-transition crises and hegemonic wars often result from the
attempt by a main actor to preserve its deteriorating position within the system; it acts while its
governing elite feels it still can. But this is only a trend, for realists also agree that
individual moments of decision making by governments are too idiosyncratic to be predictable.
Hence, the power-transition crisis caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union was handled without
war, thanks to good diplomacy on both sides. Historically, however, a power-transition crisis tends
to lead to hegemonic war to establish new leaders within anarchic systems.

CRITIQUES OF THE REALIST NOTION:


Modern realist thinking rose to prominence as a pessimistic response first, to the circumstances
surrounding the outbreak of World War I and to the terrible international events of the 1930s,
which were followed by the cataclysm of World War II and then the onset of the decades long Cold
War, despite many diplomatic efforts at detente. However, the peaceful denouement of the Cold War,
and the relatively high level of interstate cooperation that accompanied it (1989–91), led in the
1990s to a resurgence of liberal-institutionalism (also called neoliberal) criticism of anarchy
theory as too pessimistic. Liberal institutionalisms, who held that state behavior can be
positively modified by interaction with international institutions such as the UN and the European
Union (EU), argued that the realist view of interstate behavior underestimated the extent of
communal interest, interdependence, and cooperation that exists among modern states and that it
underestimated as well the human desire for peace.
Realists responded by arguing that perceived national interest and little else, certainly not
altruism determined state actions at the end of the Cold War and that the relative success and
smooth working of international institutions in the 1990s merely reflected the fact that they were
supported by (and were useful to) the overwhelming power and prestige of the United States. They
also pointed to the reemergence after the Cold War of a more internationally assertive Russia, as
well as the rise in power of an increasingly nationalistic and militarized China, as demonstrating
the persistence, pervasiveness, and ferocity of international competition.

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