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Decline of Ideology: A Dissent and an Interpretation

Joseph LaPalombara

The American Political Science Review, Vol. 60, No. 1. (Mar., 1966), pp. 5-16.

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T h e American

Political Science Review

VOL. LX MARCH, 1966 NO. 1

1)ECLIXZI: (Ilk' IDEOLOGY: A DISSENT AND AN INTERPRETATION*


JOSEPHLAPALOMBARA
Y a l e University

INTRODUCTION pect to be co-opted into t h e Scientific Culture,


K i t h increa-i~ig frequency and self-assur- or t h a t segment of society t h a t is presumably
ance, the scient;Gi: objectivity of American so- aloof from a n d disdainful toward t h e moralistic
cial science is l , ~
o ,,laimetl b y some of its promi- speculations a n d t h e tender-heartedness of t h e
nent practitioili~r3. Various explnilations are literary intellectuals.
offered for the I I I I - ; ~of~ social science's Golden T h e behaviorial "revolutionJ' in political
Age, b u t centra! to most of them is t h e claim science may have r u n its course, b u t it has left
t h a t modern s,,c.;al science has inanaged to in its wake both obscurantist criticisms of
resolve Ilannhr il~l'sParadox,' namely, t h a t in empiricism, on t h e one hand, and, o n t h e other
the pursuit of tile t r u t h t h e social scientist hand, a n unquestioning belief in "science."
himself is handii.npped b y t h e narrow focus a n d Quite often the latter belief is not merely anti-
distortions implicit in ideological thought. Pre- historical a n d anti-philosophical but also un-
sumably, the ~ o c i a lscientist can now probe critical about the extent to which empirical
any aspect of hu )]:an orgaitization a n d behavior observations can be colored b y the very orien-
as dispassionati>ly as physical scientists ob- tation to values t h a t one seeks t o control in
serve the struciure of t h e at0111 or chemical rigorous empirical research.
react'ic~ns.F or ti i- reason, it is claimed b y some T h e claims of modern social scientists are
t h a t the ideol(,~icallyliberated social scien- greatly buttressed b y t h e views of Talcott
tists--at least i i i t h e United States-can ex- parson^.^ I n response t o criticisms of his work

* Research for t l ~ i spaper was made possible in I do not mean to suggest that American soci-
part by assistaric,~from the Ofice of International ology speaks with one voice on this subject. There
Programs of hlia higan State University, and in is, on the one hand, the claim of scientific ob-
part by support irilm the Stimson Fund of Yale jectivity and objection to the intrusion of values
University. I n g:, ~iieringinformation on the Ital- into research. But, on the other hand, there is also
ian situation, I 11:~dhighly valuable assistance growing concern with the "global" questions, a re-
from Gloria P i r z l ~Ammassari, of Rome. treat from the scientism implicit in some func-
This term i - used by Clifford Geertz in tionalist formulations, and increased demands for
"Ideology as a (',~IiuralSystem," in D. E. Apter the need to engage in ethically relevant social re-
(ed.), Ideoloyy ur, I iliscontent (Loudon, 1'3G4), pp. search. See, for example, Peter Berger, Invitation
48 ff. Although tl!e present paper mas prepared in to Sociology (Garden City, N . Y. 1963); Maurice
draft bcfvre that t c;lume appeared, I have bene- Stein and Arthur Vidich (eds.), Sociology o n Trial
fitted imnlel~aelgI r l ~ t re>iilon
s from Geertz's per- (Englekx-ood Cliffs, N . J., 1963).
ceptive essay. I [lave also profited from suggea- It is also worth recalling that Max Weber, him-
tions offered by nly colleagues, Wendell Bell, self, to whom many claimants of the "scientific ob-
James hlau and hidney Tarrow; and particularly jectivity" of social science often turn for support,
from 'i\-illiam Del my, whose analytical critique of would never, in my view, have gone as far as some
papers on this -ubject delivered a t the 1961 of our contemporaries in his brief for empirical
Annual Meeting ( E he American Political Science science. As I read him, he considers a science of
Association ("Th. Itole of Ideology: A Summa- culture to be both "meaninglessJ7and "senseless."
tion") ii: itself a n ~ o - insightful
t view of the prob- See Max Weber, On the ilfethodology of the Social
lem. Sciences. Translated and edited by E. A. Shils and
6 THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW

offered by a group of scholars a t Cornell Uni- these "findings" is that they have themselves
versity, P'trsons asserts t h a t the "break- taken on many of the undeniable earmarks of
through" In the behavioral sciences occurred ideological conflict. Thus, I wish to acknowl-
in the United States in part because of that edge that my own effort in this paper may be
country's i ~ lellectual
t openness and receptivity. in part-and quite properly-identified as
A critical c Lnse of this latter quality, according ideological. Indeed, the underlying theme of
to Parson,, is the American intellectual's my argument here is that we have not, in fact,
" . . . relati\ e immunity to the pressure to put resolved the llIannheim Paradox and that per-
problem in :In ideological context," and thus haps the future of social science will be better
his refusal to worry too much about "global" served if we acknowledge this fact and face up
problem^.^ Por Parsons, science and ideology to its intellectual and theoretical implications.
are simply incompatible concepts. hIore particularly, however, I wish to deal
This is 1101the place to explore the ideologi- in this paper with these topics: 1) what it is
cal under,)innings of Parsons' formulations, that is meant when social scientists write about
particularlv since the reader can turn for this the "decline of ideology"; 2) an examination of
to dndren Tlacker's somewhat polemical but some empirical evidence from the TTTest that
neverthelcys extremely cogent analysis (which strongly challenges some of the "findings" of
Parsons cl~oosesessentially to e ~ a d e ) .It~ is these writers; and 3) a somewhat tentative
worthwhile noting, however, that Parsons' ideological-social scientific interpretation of
refusal to be concerned with the "global" ques- what these writings may represent in contem-
tions, and his claims for the scientific objec- porary Anlerican society.
tivity of h ~ emerging
s general theory, underpin
THE MEANING O F IDEOLOGY
the claim5 c ~ fo ther social scientists who extol
the "scientific" qualities of their disciplines. It is abundantly clear that those who write
One intcwsting extrapolation from these as- about ideology's decline, with few exceptions,6
sumption. about social science objectivity, and intend a pejorative denotation and connotation
of the essent la1 incompatibility of social science of the term. Taking their lead from hlannheim,
and norrnf~tiveorientations, is found in the these writers contend that ideological thought
so-called "clecline of ideology" literature. Pre- means a t least that such ideas are "distorted,"
sumably, wcial-scientific generalizations have in the sense that they lack "congruence" with
been madc bout the waning of ideology. The reality. Beyond this, however, they seem to
irony att:icliing to arguments in and against support the LIannheim view that the lack of
congruence may be either emotionally deter-
H. A. Finch (Glencoe, Illinois, 1949), pp. 49-112, mined, and therefore the result of subconscious
and esp. p:rrt 111. I t is also possible to read Weber forces, or "conscious deception, where ideology
on the u>e of values in teaching as simply a is to be interpreted as a purposeful lie."6
strategy to be followed by scholars on the left
who, in a n authoritarian Bismarckian society, 6 One exception would be Otto Kirchheimer,
would be permitted to voice in the classroom only who was greatly concerned about the possible con-
the values of the "Establishment." See, ibid., pp. sequence of, say, the emergence of the "catch-all"
1-47. political party in a coul~trylike the West German
3 Talrot I Parsons, "The Point of View of the Republic. See his, "The Transformation of the
Author," I I I Max Black, (ed.), T h e Social Theories European Party System," in Joseph LaPalom-
of Talcolt i'rlrsons (Englewood Cliffs, N. J. 1962), bara and Myron Weiner (eds.), Political Parties
pp. 313-3 15, 36&362. and Political Deoe1opme:rt (Princeton, 1966). Cf.
Andre\<-Hacker, "Sociology and Ideulogy," in his, "The Waning of Opposition in Parliamentary
zbzd., pp. 230-310. In my view, Hacker raises most Regimes," Social Research 24 (1957), pp. 127-156.
of the relt.v:~ntquestions about Parsons' seeming I am uncertain as to whether what Kirchheimer
political ' conservatism," and he underscores as describes is a decline of ideology, but it is note-
well the t.>:.entially ideological reactions of Far- worthy that he was one of those who didn't think
sons to thi. work of someone like C. Wright Mills. that what he saw was for Western societies.
Parsons' response to Hacker is to acknowledge 6 Karl hlannheim, Ideology and Utopia (Lon-

that he (P:~rsons)is an "egghead," and a "liberal" don, 1936), pp. 175-176. Mannheim's second
whose views of American society and the function- chapter in this volume, pp. 49-96, from which
ing of th(, -1merican political system are norma- the volume's title is derived, is of course the classic
tively un:~c,ceptableto Hacker and to " . . . a statement of the origins of the term "ideology,"
good mauy other American intellectuals, espe- its particular and general formulations, its rela-
cially thaw who t h i n k more or less in Marxist tionship to Marsism and it catalytic impact on
terms. . . . " Ibid., p. 350. the sociology of knowledge.
DECLISE O F IDEOLOGY 7

I t can be a r g ~ ~ c of
d , course, that one is free or maintenance of a future, or existing, state of
to define ideoloq as it happens to suit one's affairs. What makes such formulations of par-
mood or purposes, ~ n we d have a vast literature ticular interest to political scientists is t h a t
demonstrating t lit. conqiderable range of mean- ideologies frequently insist that in order to
ing that can bc assigned to the ~ o n c e p t But .~ achieve or maintain desired ends, deemed to
if one elects a tlefinition that is based too be morally superior and therefore desirable for
heavily on the r~r~tion of wilful or unintended the entire collectivity, public authority is ex-
deception or di>tortion, much of what social pected to intervene.
scientists gene1 ally identify as ideological I t is in this broad sense, then, that I am using
mould simply 11ave to be ignored, or called the concept in this paper. This being the case,
something else. ;\toreover, if the central pur- several caveats are in order. For example, a n
pose of the an:ilysis is to demonstrate some- ideology may or may not be dogmatic; a rela-
thing as significannt as ideology's decline, it tive lack of dogmatism does not necessarily
seems to me to 1)e the essence of intellectual make a given set of cognitions, preferences,
legerdemain, or downright slovenliness, to expectations and prescriptions any the less
leave the definition of ideology vague, or to ideological. An ideology may or may not be
confuse the den1o:lstrable decline of something utopian. I assume that conservative move-
one finds objec, ionable with presumably em- ments of the last century or two, as well as the
pirical generaliz~tionsabout the gradual dis- so-called Radical Right in the United States a t
appearance of comething which is much present have strong ideological dimensions,
broader in meaiiing. notwithstanding their vociferous denials of
My usage of icleology is quite close to the utopias. Similarly, Catholicism is no less ideo-
definition sugge-tcd by L. H. Garstin, in that logical in many of its political dimensions by
it involves a pi~il,)sophyof history, a view of reason of its rejection of the Enlightenment's
man's preqent 1 1 1 ice in it, some estimate of assumptions concerning man's perfectibility.
probable lines 1 1 f future development, and a An ideology may or may not be attuned to the
set of prescript oils regarding how to hasten, claimed rationality of modern science; the
retard, and/or rot~difythat developmental di- place of scientific thought in ideological formu-
rection.8 While the concept, ideology, is cer- lations is an empirical question that should not
tainly one of tE~cmost elusive in our vocabu- be begged by the assumption that science and
lary, we can s' y about it that, beyond the ideology are incompatible. Technocrats and
above, it tends tc specify a set of values that others who enshrine the hIanageria1 Society
are more or l e s ~coherent and that it seeks to certainly engage in the most fundamental kind
link given pattern; of action to the achievement of ideological reasoning. Ideology may or may
not emphasize rhetoric or flamboyant verbal
The best recr n l short review of the literature formulations. The language of ideology is also
that I have seen i\ Joseph J . Spengler, "Theory, an empirical question; it will surely be strongly
Ideology, Xon-I cc~nomicValues, and Politico- influenced by the socio-historical context in
Economic Devel~pment," in Ralph Braibanti and which it evolves, and a decline or, better,
J. J. Spengler (etlr ), Tradltzon, Values and Socio- change in rhetoric should not be confused with
Economic Develo~inent (Durham, 1961), pp. 3-56, a decline in ideology i t ~ e l fFinally,
.~ an ideology
and ~ s pPart
. V. Gpengler himself opts for a some- may or may not be believed by those who ar-
hat pejorative r!~finitionn hich hinges on values ticulate it. TThether an ideology is cynically
that direct117 or i~ ~Ilrectlrimpede a "rational" ap- used as a weapon or instrument of control;
proach to the end--means problem in economir de- whether it emanates from subconscious needs
velopment: see pi '11-32.
1 or drives or is rationally formulated and in-
8 L. H. Garstir, Each -1qe Is a Dream: '4 Study corporated into one's belief system; indeed,
i n Ideologies (Kc r Tork. 1954), p. 3. I recognize whether it is narrowly or widely, publicly or
that my usage hrrr is quite broad and that it may privately shared with third persons are also
be typical of wh lt my friend, Giovanni Sartori, legitimate and fascinating questions that re-
scores as the Amrzr~cantendency to assign to the quire careful investigation rather than a priori
concept, ideology, :L very wide meaning, "without answers.
1;mits." Sartori :irgues that such definitions are I t seems to me that the "decline of ideology"
"heuristically stcrlle and operationally fruitless"
(personal comm~~nication to the author, Yovem-
ber 16, 1965) R ~ r>ri t may or may not be right; Much of the burden of Geertz's essay, op. cit.,
my point here is simply to break away from the iq to alert the social scientist to the great need for
extremely narrox! clefinition implied in the "de- viewing ideology within a framework of "sym-
cline of ideology' literature. bolic action." See pp. 57 ff.
8 THE AJIERTCAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW

mriters1° ccinlmit one or more of all of the errors one's analytical attention upon what some
implied above. For example, ideology is said to Xarxian socialists may be up to, and to equate
apply to p:rshionately articulated prescriptions, certain changes in rhetoric with ideological
ev~dently not to those which manifest calm decline is to narrow the meaning of the central
rationality. .is Daniel Bell puts it, "ideology is concept to the point where i t has very limited
the conversir~nof ideas into social levers. . . . utility for the social scientist.
What give, ideology its force is its passion."" The writers I have in mind also seem to see
Lipset, in lii5 personal postscript on ideology's ideology as a dependent phenomenon, whose
passing, tell.. us that "Democracy in the West- rise and fall is conditioned by a number of
ern world lias been undergoing some important ecological factors, most of them economic. This
changes a.. serious intellectual conflicts among curious determinisnl suggests that if there are
groups rer)rcsenting different values have de- marked differences in poverty and wealth-or
clined shnq~ly."12 I n the case of Aron, his in life styles-ideology emerges; if these differ-
passionate :ind intemperate attacks on the ences are reduced, ideology (i.e., class-conflict
ideas of c~rtatinFrench intellectuals are so ex- ideology) declines. Thus, Lipset tells us that
treme as t o represent not so much social sci- i'Ideological passion may no longer be neces-
ence analyji; as they do a fascinating example sary to sustain the class struggle within stable
of the rhetorical aspect of ideological ex- and affluent dernocracie~."~~ At another place
change.ls he says, "As differences in style of life are re-
I t seem, equally apparent that what these duced, so are the tensions of stratification.
writers mczsn by ideology is not any given set And increased education enhances the propen-
of values, lwliefs, preferences, expectations and sity of different groups to 'tolerate' each other,
prescripticinq regarding society but that par- to accept the con~plexidea that truth and error
ticular set that we may variously associate are not necessarily on one side."16
with Ortliodox hIarxism, "Scientific Social- These writers are far too sophisticated to sug-
ism," Bol~hcvism,Afaoism, or in any case with gest that there is a simple correlation between
strongly 11eld and dogmatically articulated increases in economic productivity or distribu-
ideas regnrding class conflict and revolution. tion and decline of ideology. They recognize,
Thus, "th(, exhaustion of political ideas in the for example, that religious and other cleavages
FTestJJ refus to that particular case involving may cut against tendencies toward ideological
the disill~~sionmentexperienced b y htarxist quiescence. Kevertheless, I came away from
intellectuals when i t became apparent that this literature with the uncomfortable impres-
many of \farx's predictions were simply not sion that these writers claim that moral im-
borne out, and when the outrages of the Stalin- peratives, differences of opinion regarding the
ist regime R ere publicly revealed. T'ie need not "good life," and opposing formulations regard-
document the evidence for the widespread ing public policy must necessarily give way
disilluqion~nrnt,or for the agonizing ideological before the avalanche of popular education, the
reapprais:~l, to which it has led. But, as I shall mass media and greater and greater numbers
briefly docwment below, to limit the meaning of washing machines, automobiles and tele-
of ideologl- to absolute utopias, to concentrate vision sets. How else judge the assertion-as
clearly debatable as it is subjective and ideo-
lo I refel here primarily to the following: Ray- logical-that ideology is in decline because
mond Arorl, "Fin de l'age ideologique?" in T. W. "the fundamental problems of the Industrial
Adorno and W. Dirks (eds.), Sociologica (Frank- Revolution have been s0lved."~6
furt, 1955'1, pp. 219-233, R. Aron, The Opium of There are certainly thousands of European
the Intellcctz~als (New York, 1962); Talcott intellectuals, as well as tens of millions of other
Parsons, " In Approach to the Sociology of Rnowl- Europeans, who would react to the last quoted
edge," Trc n ructions of the Fourth TYorld Congress statement sardonically, or in sheer disbelief.
of Socioloq~/(Milan and Stresa, 1959), pp. 25-49, Since the generalizations about ideology's
Edward Sli~li,"The End of IdeologyvJ'Encounter alleged decline apply to the Kest, and therefore
5 (h'ovem:)rr, 1955), 52-58; S. M. Lipset, Polztical to Europe as well as the North American con-
Afun (Ga7dr.n City, 1960), pp. 403-417; Daniel tinent, it may be instructive to look a t one of
Bell; The /,'ndof Ideology (Glencoe, Ill., 1960), esp. these countries, Italy, to see exactly how ac-
pp. 369-375; and S. M. Lipset, "The Changing curate these generalizations are. I t should be
Class Strr~cture and Contemporary European
Politics," Qnedalus93 (Winter, 1964), 271-303. '4Lipset, Political hian, op. cit., p. 407
l1 Bell, op cit., pp. 370, 371 '6Lipset, "The Changing Class Structure . . . "
l2 Lipset, Political Man, op. cit., p 403. op. c~t.,p. 272.
l 3 Aron, The Opiz~in of the Intellect?rals,op. cit. '6 Lipset, Political Man, op. cit., p. 406.
D E C L I N E O F IDEOLOGY 9

noted that the time span I will consider are the lowed in the Constituent Assembly. which
years sinco World lTTar 11; my point will be drafted the Italian Constitution, and in this
that since gc,neralizetions for such a short pe- broad sense the party has been "reformist"
riod are so nlanifestly inaccurate, it is useless to throughout the postwar years.
lend any 1,illd of serious attention to prognos- What has changed in recent years is neither
tications bout where we will be a century or the party's will to power nor its commitment
two from ilow. ICeynes, I believe, authored the to a basically socialist ideology. Rather, I
most apI ol~riateaphorism about the "long would say that the changes include: 1) the
run." party's use of extreme rhetoric; 2) its now
openly expressed polycentrist view regarding
IDEOLOGY I N ITALY
the nature of the international socialist or
The po~!~;s I wish to stress about Italy can communist movement; and 3) the party's no-
be briefly > t ' ~ t e dalthough
, their detailed docu- tions regarding how the class struggle should
mentation would require more space than is be conducted in contemporary Italy. The de-
available iic re. First, notwithstanding the eu- bates and agonizing reappraisals that the
istence wit111nthe Italian Communist party of party has experienced in recent years must be
both a "c1i.i~ of intellectuals" and a "crisis of construed not as a sign of ideological decay but,
ideology," there has recently occurred within rather, as a sign of ideological vigor which is
that part! :t new ferment of idem which in a largely responsible for the party's steady and
certain se~lechas actually enriched rather than increasing attraction a t the polls.
diminishetl attention to ideology. Second, if The list of P.C.I. errors in prognosticating
one bothers to look away from the Communist about Italian society is long and impressive; it
party (P.c: I.) and toward Christian Democ- led observers a t Bologna not long ago to com-
racy ( D . ( ' . ) , it is possible to conclude that ment on what a "grotesque assumptionJ1was
ideology ~u the latter is actually on the up- the party's belief that only it possessed a sci-
saing. TI i ~ d ,and following from these two entifically infallible method for analyzing rea-
observatic ns, the so-called decline-of-ideology lity.18 The errors included such things as pre-
theory is -i~nplynot valid for the Italian case.17 dictions about the comparative rate of
The Itc~licrnCo:nn~unistParty. The most fre- economic growth in Communist and free
quent-a~rd most aishful-interpretation of countries, expectations regarding the Euro-
P.C.I. is t 11 it it is moving in a reformist direc- pean Common Market, impending economic
tion that nil1 eventuate in its accepting the crises in capitalistic countries, etc. One ob-
existing .\,-tern and limiting its demands to server of this pattern of inaccurate prognos-
social, polilical and economic manipulations ticating notes that it was not until the middle
designed lo effect needed, but not revolution- of 1961 that the "Communists awoke from
ary, reforlnb from time to time. This view of their dogmatic dream and almost in a flash
the part! is superficial in the sense that learned that their judgments did not corre-
"reformis~n" dates back to 1944 a h e n Palmiro spond to reality."lS
Togliatti I eturned froin AIoscow articulating a The truth is that the alarm had sounded for
moderate 11ne which was as unnerving as it P.C.I. several years before, and precisely a t
was unexl~ccted.This line was carefully fol- the V I I Party Congress of 1956. I t was here
that the party's activities in the underdeveloped
l 7 A 111111iber of colleagues who were good South first received a public airing. The critics
enough tr, read this manuscript urge that the of the party's "i2Iovimento di Rinascita" in
empirical evidence challenging the "decline" southern Italy openly noted that the move-
thesis sh1'111dnot be limited to Italy. Roger ment was in crisis and that the crisis grew out
>Tasters : ~ n c l Giovanni Sartori point out, for of the party's failure to adapt ideology and
example, t il:lt the U. S. would provide additional consequently policy to the concrete conditions
supportivc, cxvidence. Nils Elvander notes that of Southern Italy. Members of the party itself
Tingsten lli~nself,in his analyses of the Swedish scored it for its "sterile and negative" ap-
Social De~il,~cratic Party, became "caught up in proach to national problems, for its rigid and
the intens!, struggle against the 'dead' ideology of
the party, and when the battle was over he went '8 Paolo Covilla, Giorgio Galli, Luigi Pedrazzi,

o n dcclari!~gideology dead, not being able to see Alfonso Prandi and Franco Serra, "I Partiti
that it wa- revitalized again and :~gairl" (personal Italiani tra il 1958 e il 1963." I1 Alulzno, 12
communic tio on to the author, December 19, (April, 1963), p. 323.
1964). I a] %wareof this additional evidence and
81 l9 G. Tamburrano, "Lo Sviluppo del capi-
simply note that the Italian case is used here as talism~e la crisi teorica dei comunisti italiani,"
a n illustr:~tive rather than exhaustive example. Tempi Moderni, 5 (July-September, 1962), p. 22.
10 T H E AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE R E V I E W

doctrinaire adherence to fixed schemes, for its and important indication of this change is the
permitting the movement to lose whatever party's decision to seek alliances with elements
dynamism it may have had in earlier year~.~O of the middle class-peasants, small land-
Both Togliatti and Giorgio Amendola (the owners, artisans, small and medium industrial-
latter considered the leader of the P.C.I.'s ists and even with entrepreneurs who are not
"reformistJ' wing) urged that the party must involved with industrial m o n o p o l i e ~ . The ~~
be flexible , ~ n overcome d the inertia of pat for- importance of this change should be strongly
nlulations. 'They admitted that both the party emphasized; the P.C.I. has managed in one
and its tra(lc union wing seemed to be unpre- stroke to shift largely to monopoly capitalism
pared to cor~frontthe great changes in local all of the attacks that had previously been
conditions that had occurred in the years since leveled against an allegedly retrograde, deca-
1945.21 I t i q possible that, within the party's dent bourgeoisie. The party's open strategy is
secret confinc:~, this kind of self-appraisal had to attract to its ranks the mushrooming mem-
begun beforo 1956, but in those earlier days bers of the middle and tertiary strata that
one would not have expected Togliatti to say large-scale industrial development tends to
publicly that the party was not keeping up proliferate. The fire of opposition is no longer
with basic .ocial and economic transformations directed against proprietors in general but
in Italy or th:tt it was necessary for that orga- against the monopolists who allegedly exploit
nization to engage in the kind of total re-exami- all others in society, who are oppressive, and
nation that, will finally sweep away "ancient who increase tlie degree of imbalance or dis-
and recent moldiness that impede the action equilibrium in the social system.
of P.C.I.JJ2L This, then, is not the party of the Stalin Era.
To be sure, removing ideological mold is not Not many who followed the antics of P.C.I.
easy for C'ornmunists, who tend to be ultra- up to the Hungarian Rebellion would have pre-
intellectual in a society where intellectual dicted changes in orientation such as the ones
elegance is highly prized. One can therefore so briefly summarized. The fascinating ques-
note in the p:~rty'sliterature the care-and the tion to pose here, however, is whether what
web-like loqic-with which recent changes are has happened represents a decline in P.C.I. ideol-
reconciled with hIarx and Lenin, and particu- ogy, or something else. If by decline is meant
larly with tile writings of Antonio Gramsci, the abandonment of some of the rhetoric, the
the intellec,tual fountainhead of Italian Com- verbal symbols, the predictions and especta-
munism, ant! a formidable dialectician whose tions voiced until the late fifties, there seems
work is too little known in the English-speaking little doubt about the validity of such a judg-
world.Z3 N(.vertheless, the party's public pos- ment, although the more appropriate word
ture has rl~nngedradically. The most recent would be change. However, if by decline is
meant that P.C.I. is becoming bourgeois or
20 See th(s editorial, "I Problemi del Mezzo- llsocial-democratizedJ'lor that it is abandoning
giorno nei ( ollgressi del PC1 e del PSI," Cronache any commitment to ideological formulations,
h f e r i d i o n a l ~ , 4 (January-February, 1957), pp. I believe one should hesitate before lenping to
57-58. The struggle of the P. C . I. to make the such a conclusion. As Palmiro Togliatti signifi-
necessary ideological, strategic and tactical cantly put it, ((Thereis no experience regarding
changes in 1t.i approach to the Italian South is the way in which the battle for socialism can or
perceptivel~ and exhaustively analyzed by must be waged in a regime of advanced monop-
Sidney Tarrow, Peasant C o ~ n ~ n u n z sin~ nSouthern olistic state capitalism . . . There do not even
Italy. Ph.1). dissertation manuscript, Berkeley, exist explicit prescriptions in the classics of
liniversity of California, 1965. our doctrine.JJ25
"I Proijlcmi del hIezzogiorno . . . ," op. cit., Communist leaders who spearhead this re-
p. 59. Cf. Giorgio Amendola, "I Comunisti per la appraisal are not calling for ideological retreat
rinascita del YIezzogiorno," Cronache Meridzonali but, rather, for a concerted search for new
4 (Slay, ltl57), p. 279. See, also, P.C.I., T e s i e ideological underpinnings for party policies and
documenti d( 1 Congresso del PCZ, (Rome, 1963), p.
138. 24 Tamburrano, op. cit., p. 23.

22 Abdon Alinovi, "Problemi della politiclt 26 Ibid., p. 69. See the important statement by
comunista riel Mezzogiorno," Critica filarxista, 1 Bruno Tentin, one of the most important of the
(July-Augl~it, 1963), 4-8. party's young leaders, intellectuals and ideo-
23 Palrnirc~ Togliatti, I1 Partito Communzsta logical architects, "Tendenze attuali del capi-
Italiano (Rome, 1961), p. 55; Antonio Gramsci, t a l i s m ~ italiano," in Tendenze del capitalismo
llAlcuni temi della questione meridionale," in italiano: A t t i del convegno econonaico dellJZstituto
Antologia degli scritti (Rome, 1963), pp. 51, 69. Grantsci (Rome, 1962) p. 43 ff.
D E C L I N E O F IDEOLOGY 11

actions. I n noting that Marxism offers, a t best, Socialism" has certainly been scraped away.
vague guic!ei to party behavior in modern What remains, coupled with some of the newer
Italian society, these leaders seem to me to be ideas currentlv in ferment. amounts to much
a long way from abandoning such key con- more ideologythan one might detect from the
cepts as class, dialectical conflict, the exploita- simple notation that the language of the late
tive naturc of monopoly capitalism, and the forties and early fifties is no longer in vogue.
fundamentill need for effecting structural-not Italian Christian Democracy. The genius of
mild, reformist-changes in the social system. Alcide DeGasperi is that for a decade following
They, and t'he millions of Italians who support the birth of the Italian Republic he was able to
them a t the polls, are far from concluding, if hold together within the Christian Democratic
this is the acid test for the inclination toward party (D.C.) strongly opposed ideological fac-
ideological decline, that the problems created tions that managed to play down ideology in
by the IndilsLrial Revolution have been largely the interest of holding on to power. This was no
solved. mean achievement. Although the popular
The effort to attune the party's ideology to image of the D.C. is that of an opportunistic,
present 1t:rlian realities is a complementary anti-ideological "brokerage" party, the truth
side of the vigorous campaign for polycentrism is that, from the outset, strong factions that
which the 11artyhas been conducting within the would have emphasized ideology, even a t the
internationd communist movement. Beginning risk of splitting the party, had to be suppressed
in 1956, P.C.I. frankly asserted that the Soviet or defeated. DeGasperi's hegemonic control of
model could no longer be a specific guide to the organization was secured only after he had
Communist parties in every country and that managed to beat down early competition for
it would be necessary to find a "national path leadership emanating from such ideologues as
to socialis~n." Togliatti made this point force- Giuseppe Dossetti, Amintore Fanfani and
fully in t h r last book he published before his Giovanni Gronchi. One might well conclude
death.26 I n Kovember, 1961, the P.C.I. Secre- that, in an age of alleged ideological decline
tariat forniulated a resolution which said in and after a decade of enjoying the many fruits
part that ',There do not exist and there cannot of political power, ideology would have become
exist either :I guiding party or state or one or a much less salient issue within the D.C.
more instances of centralized direction of the Exactly the opposite tendency is apparent,
internatiorlsl Communist movement. Under however. Since the death of DeGasperi, and
existing conciitions there must be and there the advent of Fanfani as a major party leader
must incre:isingly be a great articulation of the in 1954, the ideological debate has not only
movement in a context of full independence of intensified but has also broken into public view,
individual pnrtie~."~? revealing a party ~rganizationunder deep in-
These a1.e brave words, and it is still much ternal stress. I believe that the facts will clearly
too early ti I c-oncludewith any confidence what demonstrate that since that date the role of
the result of t,he P.C.I.'s campaign will be.28 ideology within the D.C. has actually increased
What is iniportant is the apparent P.C.I. con- rather than diminished, and a few central oc-
viction th:lt it can come up with a new strat- currences will serve to bear out this conclusion.
egy-a new formula for achieving power-for I n September, 1961, the D.C. held a t San
Communist parties operating in Western Eu- Pellegrino the first of three annual "ideolog-
ropean anii other countries of advanced cap- ical" conventions. They represented a long
italism. I t is important to bear in mind that, in and successful effort on the part of those in the
cloing this. the party purports to be able to party who had fought for making the party
provide an up-dated ideological rationale for ideologically coherent, something more than
action. Solllr of the "moldiness" of "Scientific the "brokerage" party the D.C. had been under
DeGasperi's leadership. Looming over these
26 Togliaq tl. o p . cit., p. 131. proceedings were two of the party's perennial
27 See "l'roblemi del dibattito t r a partiti dilemmas: First, to what extent should the
~omuaisti, z/~zrE., p. 16. D.C., a party drawing much of its strength
The I t il an Communists have pushed poly- from the political right, articulate a left-wing
centrism vt.r> hard indeed, and do not react well ideology as a guide to policy? Second, how
t o Soviet a1 t ( mpts to water it down. See, LIUnith, much ideological freedom could the party ex-
November 32, 1961, p. 11. On this general topic, press vis-d-vis a Catholic Church to which i t
see the excellent analysis by Donald L. ill. must necessarily remain fairly closely tied?
Rlackmer, "The P.C.I. and the International Those who favored stronger articulation of a
Communist Ilovement," hlassachusetts Institute coherent left-wing ideology were strongly
of Techno1 gv, mimeographed. spurred b y an undeniable gradual movement to
12 T H E AMERICAN POLITICAI, SCIENCE REVIETF'

the left b\ the Italian electorate, b y the in- [party] unity," he said, "is a great one of fun-
creasing n illingness of the Italian Socialist damental importance but it is also a problem
party to consider active coalition with the that runs the risk of losing all its value if used
D.C., and certainly not least by the kinds of as a sedative, or as the Hymn of Garibaldi,
ideological changes in the Vatican triggered b y every time there is conflict between clerical and
the innovating papacy of John X X I I I . anti-clerical elements."30 If the party wished
Speakers a t the conferences reviewed the to be free of all internal ideological conflict,
party's ideological history, noting that a t war's nothing would remain of it except an agreement
end it appc7ared that the party would lead the "to hold power for power's
country left and that, in those years, DeGasperi According to Achille Ardiga, a sociologist
himself staled that the old order based on the and long-time member of the party's national
dominatio~l of rural landowners and urban executive committee, the major milestones in
i n d u s t r i a l i ~ ;would
~ not remain intact. But it the D.C.'s ideological evolution are the follow-
was lamented that whenever the D.C. con- ing: First, the development of the concept of
fronted is*ues concerning which the party's the political autonomy of Catholics, uncon-
ideology secl~ninglyrequired socialist solutions, strained by specific direction by clerical forces.
ideology w ~q arrested in favor of not pushing Second, the growth of the idea of the autono-
to the breaking point the ideological centrifugal mous function of intermediate groups (such as
tendencies ~5 ithin the organization. As Franco family, community and social class) against
Llalfatti, me of the followers of Giuseppe the excesses of the centralizing, modern liberal
Dossetti and Amintore Fanfani, points out, the state. Third, the defense and consolidation of
revolution:ir! tone of early D.C. pronounce- liberty, in a government of laws, through an
ments wrt. gradually transformed into the alliance of the democratic forces of the nation
muted not( i: of a purely formalistic democracy against political and ideological extremes.
and of a gl e%t concentration of governmental Fourth, the materialization of the ideology of
power a t l : ~ r n e . ~ $ the "new partyJJ led by Amintore Fanfani.
As the I1.C. moved self-consciously toward Finally, the emergence of a new concept of the
the "Open~n: to the Left" which would bring state as an artifice of harmonious and planned
the Sociali.t, into the government, the party's development-the idea of the state as an in-
ideologues nould no longer accept the De- strument of dynamic intervention in the eco-
Gasperi foi mula whereby all concern about or nomic sphere and of the modification of the
dedication to ideology was to be obscured in rights of property in favor of the well-being of
favor of thc overriding value of party unity. At the collectivity. I t is the evolution of this last,
San Pelleg~ino,Malfatti put the new posture self-consciously ideological stage that per-
of the irlrc loques pointedly "The problem of mitted the party's recent shift to the left and
the acceptance of coalition with the socialist^.^^
29 Franco ill. Malfatti, "La Democrazia One can identify many reasons for this shift
C'ristiana ni llc sue affermazioni programmatiche to the left, including Italian voting patterns
dalla sua ric 05truzione ad oggi," in I1 Convegno d i that have clearly led the D.C. in this direction.
S u n Pellegrlno. A t t i del I Convegno dz S t u d i della To the many social and economic pressures
D.C (Romc, 1962), pp 325-341. For examples of leading t o the emergence of a Catholic Social-
the early, ~inytwarideological statements of the ism, one would have to add the liberating
party, see, +or example, Alcide DeGasperi, "Le impact of John X X I I I J s revolutionary ency-
Lineo prog~zrnmatichedella D. C., "in I Con- clical, M u t e r et Magistra. I n the light of this ra-
gressi ATazror~ali della Democrazia Cristiana dical departure from the conservative, often
(Rome, 1959), p. 23; Gianni Baget Bozzo, "I1 reactionary, political utterances of Pius X I I , it
Dilemma di,lla D.C. e del suo prossimo Con- is easy to understand why the D.C. left should
gress~,"Crontrche Sociali Vol. 3 (April 30, 1949), be spurred to a more purposeful and ideologi-
p. 17; Ach l l ~Ardig6, "Classi sociali e sintesi cally rationalized attack on Italian society's
politica," in I1 Convegno d i S u n Pellegrino . . . ," ills.
op. cit., pp. 135 ff. I t should be noted that the I t is important to recognize that the San
periodical C ona ache Sociali, cited above, was the Pellegrino meetings mean not that the D.C.
most import ant publication for those in the D.C. has moved left on a purely opportunistic basis,
s ho, in the catly postwar years, attempted to give
the party a clear-cut left-wing id~ologicalcast. 30 Franco M. Malfatti, "L'Unitb della D.C. e il
Until recentlv. . , full collections of the maeazine- problema delle tendenze," Cronache Sociali, 3
r e r e extren~elyrare. The major articles from it, (February 15, 1949), p. 15.
however, are now available in a two-volume 3' Ardigb, op. cit., p. 145.
work, Cronache Sociali (Rome, 1961). 32 Ibid., pp. 155-165.
DECLINE OF IDEOLOGY 1.3

but, rather, on t h e basis of a "rediscoveryJ' of framework t h a t would permit comparative


the ideological formulations laid down b y analytic attention to other aspects of Marxian
Dossetti an11 others in t h e late forties. T o b e a n d non-Marxian ideologies, a n d b) m a n y of
sure the c ~ l r r e n tideology is not socialism and, t h e observations limited to t h e crisis or travail
indeed, le:,ders like Aldo bioro have been care- experienced b y Marxists since t h e Hungarian
ful to distiucuish D.C. ideology from socialism Rebellion a n d t h e XX Congress of t h e C P S U
and comr~~ltnism.Nevertheless, t h e D.C. is amount to nothing more t h a n propaganda slo-
today a dlamatically less catch-all p a r t y t h a n gans.
it was u n d w DeGasperi. It now has a somewhat Second, i t is possible to sidestep t h e fasci-
official and publicly articulated ideology. If nating subject of broader comparative ideolog-
ideology i, in fact in significant decline else- ical analysis a n d concentrate instead on t h e
where in I:urope,33 I t a l y will certainly have t o central proposition t h a t runs through much of
be exceptcd from such easy generalizations. I n this writing, namely, t h a t ideology tends t o
the P.C.I.. ideology has changed a n d appears wane a s societies reach levels of social a n d eco-
to be vigorously reasserting itself; in t h e D.C. nomic modernization typified b y several West-
the era of suppressed ideology has passed, a n d ern countries. It seems to me, however, t h a t
ideologicai debate a n d commitment are clearly a n y a t t e m p t to assess these writings in such
resurgent. terms is fraught with a number of difficulties
How, tllen, explain t h e imperfect, distorted t h a t can only be briefly mentioned here. For
and erroneous perceptions of the decline-of- example, one will have to come t o grips with
ideology v riters? Rfannheim, who remains, after all, t h e first a n d
most prominent scholar to touch on almost
INTER L'ItETATIONS OF THE DECLINE-OF-

every aspect of t h e arguments mustered b y


IDEOLOGY LITERATURE

comtemporary writers, including t h e proposi-


Several interpretations of the decline-of- tion t h a t t h e birth and death of ideology de-
ideology n ritings are possible, a n d I shall touch pends on certain social, economic a n d "eco-
here on only two or three. First, one might sim- logical" factors.
ply d i s m i ~ sthis literature as reflecting a much But, Mannheim, as I have noted, intends a
too narrov focus on certain undeniable changes pejorative definition of ideology, t h u s greatly
in the rhef oric, a n d even in the perceptions and narrowing its application. For systems of ideas
prescriptic~n.;,of some contemporary Marxists. t h a t are not incongruent with empirical re-
I say disniiis, rather then accord them serious alities, he uses t h e term "utopia." However, if
intel1ectu:ll attention, because: a) t h e narrow I read him correctly, Rfannheim's final test for
focus fail-. to include a broader conceptual deciding whether a system of ideas is ideo-
logical or utopian is almost invariably post
33 Exactlv how much of the R7est is to be in- jacto-in the sense t h a t what one identifies as
cluded in t ll(, generalizations about ideology's de- yesterday's ideology becomes tomorrow's uto-
cline is riel er made too clear. Lipset, for example, pia when it can b e shown that, somewhere in
is careful 1 0 hedge his European generalizations space a n d time, prescriptions or transcendent
by frequei~tlyexcepting Italy and France. My ideas turned o u t not t o be incongruent with
point noul,l he that if these two countries are ex- potential "social realities."34 T h e pragmatic
cepted, as they should be, one czn scarcely pre-
tend to spcnk with justification about E~rropean " See Mannheim, op. cit., Ch. 4, "The Utopian
trends. Sei. T,ipset, "The Changing Class Struc- Mentality." Mannheim notes that, "Ideologies
ture . . . ," op. cit., passim. Moreover, there is are the situationally transcendent ideas which
also rather persuasive evidence that Lipset's gen- never succeed de facto in the realization of their
eralization- are not currently valid, if they ever projected content. . . . Utopias too transcend the
were, for a country like West Germany. See H. P. social situation. . . . But they are not ideologies,
Secher, "(:urrent Ideological Emphasis in the i.e., they are not ideologies in the measure and in
Federal Rcpriblic of Germany," a paper delivered so far as they succeed through counteractivity in
a t the 1964 Annual Meeting of the American transforming the existing historial reality into one
Political Sricnce Association, Chicago, September more in accord with their own conceptions" (pp.
9-12, 1961. Note particularly the extensive, 176, 177). Mannheim later refines the definition of
German-language bibliography on this subject utopia, trying to tie it to the issue of incongruence
contained in the footnotes of this paper. I n any from "the point of view of a given social order
event, the 1)urden of Secher's argument is that which is already in existence." Needless to add, i t
German itlef~logyis on the upswing, both in the is ideology's decline that Mannheim applauds,
SPD and ir: the Catholic sectors of the CDU and the decline of utopia that he greatly fears be-
/CSU. cause the latter, he says, would make man
14 THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW

test is decel)iively simple: If it works, it's uto- the "decline" writers: "In reality, the deep
pian; if it ~loesn't,it's ideological. Outside of intent of this theory is to establish that in
ascribing si~per-rationalpowers to the "omni- wealthy societies socialism is definitely eclipsed.
scient obsei \ er," there is no readily apparent With many persons it [the theory of decline]
may of iden ~ifyingthe very thing one wishes t o is a rather banal aspect of anti-communism or,
measure, e\c~.ptafter the fact. if one prefers, of a new version of conservative
Beyond thls conceptual problem, there are 0pportunism."~8 This view is strongly echoed
others impllerl by the "more modernization-less by William Delany who says, "The end of
ideology" formulation. Such generalizations ideology writers write not just as sociologists
involve set ular trends that span centuries. or social scientists but as journalists and an
Thus, even ~f one can reach a n acceptable anti-totalitarian ideological cabal. Their work
working drfinition of ideology, the matter of is ideology but, like almost all Western ideol-
measuring tliese trends-to say nothing of ogies since the 18th Century, with a heavy
projecting t hr3m into the future-seems to me 'scientificJ component to give respectability and
to involve n degree of precision in historical a sense of truth."37
data gatheling and measurement that is only These are admittedly harsh judgments. And
a little bettcr today (and in some ways much yet, when one confronts the waning-ideology
worse) than it was in hiannheim's time. h4y literature with actual developments in Western
own impre..;inn about such long-range trends Europe, the gap between fact and "scientific"
is that, desjite some interesting changes in the findings suggests exactly such evaluations. In-
symbology of ideology, we are far from seeing deed, it is entirely possible that, in the case of
the end in 1 urope of ideology as I have defined some of the decline writers, what they see may
it or, indee(1, of ideology defined as dogmatic, be little more than autobiographical projec-
inflexible, pa-sionately articulated perceptions tions, which may be fine for some novelists but
of reality ~ ~ r lprescriptions
d for the future. is clearly quite sticky for social scientists. I n
Furthermo~e,since the long-term trend line is any event, in so far as social science analysis of
not u n e q u i ~ocally established, we cannot say ideology is concerned, i t is more than a little
whether short-term phenomena are part of a difficult to agree with an appraisal of the social
downward plunging graph line or merely a sciences which begins by confiding that the
cyclical dip in a line which may be essentially American social scientist has been co-opted
flat or risinq. into something called the "establishment,"
I t also sevnis to me that the proposition we and then goes on to say about "establishment"
are discussi~lghere suffers all of the limitations members:
(which I h l v e detailed e l s e ~ h e r e )that
~ ~ one Theirs is an alienation brought about by
can identify with a good deal of the recent 'superior n-isdom,' that is, by the ability to pene-
writing abollt political development. This for- trate the ideologies of others and thereby to
mulation sri'nls to rest on the assumption (or emancipate themselves. I n this group is the social
hope) that qocio-economic-political develop- scientist, who is the objective observer. He pene-
ment is moving in a deterministic, unilinear, trates all of the disguises created by the untrained
culture-speclfic direction, whereby the future mind or the ideological mind and attaches him-
will consist of national histories that are mo- self to the image of the wise. He represents the
notonous rep( titions of the "Anglo-American" 'establishment.' ' ' 3 . ~
story. I n short, the decline-of-ideology ~ r i t e r s
seem to beli~\ e that "they" are becoming more I suppose that, if there is an American
and more liAe "us." "establishment" and if the social scientist has
This lead. to a possible third interpretation come to play such a prominent role in it, one
of the liter ~ t ~ l r enamely,
, that most of this would expect that in the rationalization and
writing is not social science but, ironically, defense of his well-ordered world the social
simply morr ideology. The French scholar, scientist's words are likely to take on typically
Jean XIeyn:iuci, reacts in this summary way to ideological overtones. I n any event, it is diffi-
-- cult to imagine how the social scientist in the
nothing morc. I han a "thing" unable to shape or United States would now go about rebutting
understand h~slory:ibid., p. 236.
85 See my (cd.), Bureaucracy and Political De- as Jean Meynaud, "Apatia e responsibilitB dei
velopment (Pr~nceton, 1963), Ch. 2 ; and my cittadini," Tempi Moderni, 5 (April-June, 1962),
"Public Adntinistration and Political Change: A p. 33.
Theoretical Overview," in Charles Press and Alan William Delany, "The End of Ideology: A
Arian (eds.), Empathy and Ideology: Knowledges Summation," op. cil., p. 16.
of Administr,rtzve Innovation (forthcoming). Apter, op. cil., pp. 37-38.
DECLINE OF IDEOLOGY 15

the reiterated Russian claim t h a t Western so- of Italians. T h e irony in all of this is t h a t t h e
cial Science is riot much more t h a n thinly veiledintellectuals were t h e last to nppreciate t h e
bourgeois ideology.39 need for new rhetoric and, indeed, for new
This leads t o a few concluding remarks ideological formulations. T h e y h a d been pre-
about the extent t o which phenomena asso- ceded b y political leaders not only in t h e Com-
ciated with t h e alleged decline of ideology re- munist party, b u t in t h e ranks of Christian
flect in great nlcasure certain kinds of adapta- Democracy as well. T h e politicians evidently
tions to thc crisis confronting Western quickly understood t h a t no large-scale inter-
vention of the public sector in a n y kind of de-
intellectuals. 'I'lie Italian case will serve a s one
concrete illust 1 ntion of this, although similar velopment was likely t o proceed for long with-
patterns can also be explicated for other West- out some kind of ideological justification.
ern countries. T o some extent, t h e isolation of intellectuals
A t the end \T70rld TT7ar 11, Italian intellec-
ctF from social realities was encouraged b y t h e
tuals-like P.C.I. I n keeping t h e party's intellectuals or-
t l i e ~ r counterparts elsewhere in
JVestern Europ~-felt deeply involved in a ganizationally separated from mass members,
concerted anti :~pparentlypromising effort t o the P.C.I. was able to capitalize o n a tendency
transform Italian society. This was a period in which is deeply rooted in Italian culture. As
which "The s lcred texts were dusted off a n d Guiducci points out, Italian intellectuals were
the people were enlightened in order to create strongly influenced b y t h e Crocian idea t h a t
the maximum tlegree of consensus a n d to realize they were a caste apart, superior t o a n d re-
the maximum degree of support a n d conver- moved from t h e masses, a n d t h u s failed to
s i o n ~ . "B~u~t romantic notions of socialist rev-
maintain a n open a n d realistic contact with
olution-wide1 y fostered b y intellectuals- t h e broader population. Even in a context
were of very sllort duration. Failure of Italian of deep ideological commitment, they managed
society to move directly toward socialism to adhere to "a position which is traditional
caught m a n y intellectuals flat-footed. T h e y with t h e Italian man of culture, estranged as
remc~ined tied to a permanent anti-Fascism he is from reality, tied as he is to a culture
which led them t o ritualistic rhetorical state- which is literary a n d humanistic in the nar-
ments about 11alian society's ills and t h e paths rowest sense of t h e words."&
to s : ~ l v a t i o n . 1~~or almost fifteen years, these
T h e striking thing a b o u t Italy in recent years
intellectuals rc poated with startling monotony is t h a t t h e country's intellectuals (largely of t h e
themes and prc3criptions which were simply left, b u t also of t h e right) seem to be emerging
out of joint as fnr a s t h e changing conditions offrom t h e kind of isolation Guiducci mentions.
Italian societj were concerned. I n this sense, Their confrontation of the realities of Italian
certi~inly,Arorl , ~ n dothers are right in scoring society has not led, however, to a decline of
the stultifyinq consequences of doctrinaire ideology. Rather, I would suggest t h a t what
ideological for lnillations. has happened involves in part ideological clari-
These were J ears of demoralization for in- fication and in part t h e framing of new ideol-
tellectuals who expected revolutionary change ogies to which striking numbers of Italian a n d
and were tre:~tc,d instead to a great deal of European intellectuals now adhere. These new
temporizing under DeGasperi; b u t t h e intel- ideologies in a profound sense involve substi-
lectuals were :ilqo blinded to certain social a n d tuting new m y t h s for old. T h e new myths,
economic charlgc,s t h a t made the traditional which form the core of t h e ideological structure
rhetoric of l1:irxism alien to growing numbers of many intellectuals, are those of t h e welfare
state a n d of economic planning. As Henri
39 See A. A. Zvorykin, "The Social Sciences in J a r m e rightly puts it, "The m y t h of planning
the U.S.S.R.: .lchievements and Trends," Inter- is only t h e socialist variant of t h e m y t h of
national Social Science Journnl, 16 (No. 4, 1964), progress."43 B u t such myths, if Italy is a n y
pp. 558-602. J . S. Roucek, "The Soviet Brand of test, attract more t h a n segments of former
Sociology," Inlernational Journal of Comparative orthodox llarxists; they are woven a s well into
Sociology, 1 (lntil), pp. 211-219.
4 0 Antonio ('arbonaro and Luciano Gallino, 42 Roberto Guiducci, Socialismo e verztd (Turin,
"Sociologia e icleologie ufficiali," Tempi Moderni, 1956), pp. 23 ff. Cf. Gaetano ArfB, "La Responsi-
4 (January-h'l:irch, 1961), p. 31. bilith degli intellettuali," Tempi Jfoclerni, 4
4l Nicola Natteucci, "Pensare in prospettiva," (January-hlarch, 1961), pp. 31-32; Paolo Prand-
7'empi Moderni, 4 (April-June, 1961), p. 32. Cf. straller, Intellettuali e democrazia (Rome, 1963).
the important (lditorial, "Valori e miti della 4J Henri Jarme, "Le Mythe politique du
societh italiar~:~dell'ultimo ventennio, 1940- socialisme democratique," Cahiers Internationauz
1960," ibid. (October-December, 1961), p. 22. de Sociologie, 33 (July-December, 1962), p. 29.
16 THE A ~ I E R I C A NPOLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW

the kind oj new ideology that Christian Demo- system within ~vhichcontemporary activity is
crats creatc:. justified. Keedless to say, some of these intel-
To be sure, the emergence of new myths lectuals will phrase ideology in the language of
creates new symbols and vocabulary. This sort science and rationality, whether they are in
of change 5llould not be construed, however, as favor of radical change or of the preservation
an end of i(l~,ology.As Giovanni Sartori notes, of the status quo. There is certainly little evi-
"Granted I hilt in an affluent society the inten- dence in Italy, in any event, that, say, a com-
sity of idectlogy will decrease, a lessening of its mitment to social science miraculously resolves
intensity slicluld not be confused with a wither- the nagging problem of hIannheimls Paradox,
.
ing away o f ideology itself. . . The tempera- nor, indeed, that it should.
ture of idcvlogy may cool down but this fact When we turn to the decline-of-ideology
does not ~rrlply t h a t a so'ciety will lose the writers, i t is possible to detect t h a t they, too,
habit of perceiving political problems in an are in search of a definable role in contemporary
unrealistic or doctrinaire fashion; and it im- American society. Whether that role involves
plies even lers that a party system will turn to the use of social science to criticize America's
n pragmatic approach."" failings or to extol its consensual or managerial
Two po1n1,s are relevant here. First, it is character is a fascinating empirical question.
obvious thvt many Italian intellectuals seem But surely the exploration of this problem
to have rediicovered a valid-or a t least per- would require of a mature social science a cer-
sonally sat~siying-function in society, namely, tain amount of caution and humility regarding
providing : L ~ I ideological rationale, as well as the danger of translating highly selective data
rational alicrnatives, for economic planning gathering or personal predilections or ambitions
activity. S~,cond,in achieving this redefinition into sweeping historical projections and "sci-
of role, the i~ltellectualseems to have reaffirmed entific" generalizations. Clifford Geertz, I
his respon-ibility for creating the ideological believe, has put this most succinctly: "We may
wait as long for the 'end of ideology' a s the
positivists have waited for tile end of reli-
44 Giovar1~11 Sartori, "European Political Par- wion."4j
t~esT: he C i i c X of Polarized Pluralism," i n J. La-
Palombara ~ r )I. ~ dWeiner, op. cit. '5 Geertz, op. cit., p. 51.

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