Sociology And Of Communism - Bard College

3y ago
5.39 MB
31 Pages
Last View : 2d ago
Last Download : 6m ago
Upload by : Maleah Dent



ContentsPART ONETHE TWENTIETH-CENTURY ' ISLAM'1. The Twentieth-century 'Islam'92. Failing Oligarchy and Impotent Plebs243. A Technological Messianism394. Structure of the Army465. Growth of Absolutism and Concentration ofPower606. Bolshevisation857. The Third Army1008. The 'Men of the Threshold'112PART TWOSECULAR RELIGIONS AND THEIMPERIUM MUNDI9. The Prestige of Totality12310. The Psychology of Secular Religions13311 . The Political Phenomenon of Tyranny16412. Twentieth-century Absolutism18213. The Totalitarian Dynamic23714. Projections of the Sacred26415. What is a Revolution?293Postscript to Chapter 15I NDEX334337

THE TWENTIETH-CENTURY 'ISLAM'13society and shaped by a different history. And this Campaign is ananswer to the particular problems posed by that history. A new type ofsocial differentiation has appeared, whose hierarchical aspect basbecome clearly recognisable in the course of thirty years to the lay (Imean the non-communist) observer, and with it has appeared a newtype of regime, harsh towards the 'free' proletariat and inhumantowards its slave labour. 1 The proletariat can only be called free bycomparison with the labour force of the concentration camps. Therevival of slavery is one of the characteristic features of 20th-centurytotalitarianism: the defeated in political and factional warfare, side byside wlth delinquents of every kind, many of whom would not incountries farther west be liable to any penalty at all, are all alike reduced to slavery, and not by a foreign power but by their own State.At the end of the 19th century slavery existed only on the outskirts ofWestern civilisation. The European colonists found it established in thecountries they exploited, especially in Africa. Although they formallyabolished slav ownership, their methods of developing the land werenot at fust such as to improve the conditions of the former slaves. Onthe whole, however, a new class of proletarians or tenant smallholdersincreasingly took the place of the old slave class. The Marxists of the19th century accused the liberals of being liberal only at home, but infact there was a movement, though a very slow one, towards the extension of political liberalism to the colonles. l n the 20th century, in Russiaand Germany, slavery reappears in new forms. It is State slavery. Theslaves are not members of remote tribes on the periphery of the'civilised' world-they are members of the losing side in the politicalstruggles within Russia and Hitlerite Germany. It is their own countrymen who reduce them to slavery, and with no better pretext than topenalise a difference of Weltanschauung or consecrate a factionalvictory.The fully-developed totalitarian world is an industrial world; preeminently, a world where resources are exploited and utilised. In it,repression is a part of the methods of production. Hence one of itscharacteristic phenomena: a legal system which concerns itself withproblems of manpower, and production plans based on estimates of thesupply of penal labour. Twentieth-century State slavery enables theexploitation of men, as Marxists used to call it, to be carried muchl See Dallin and Nicolaevsky, Forced Labour in Soviet Russia (New Haven, 1947). Seealso David J. Dallin, The Real Soviet Russia (New Haven, 1944). The first decree calling forthe greater use of forced labour appeared 26 March 1928. In July of the same year theCommissariat of Justice ordered forced labour for all physically fit prisoners. This measurewas a prelude to the first five-year plan. The execution of the plan, combined with thecollectivisation of agriculture, brought about, between 1929 and 1935, the first of thosegreat forced migrations which arc a major characteristic of the totalitarian world. .A(

THE TWENTiETH-CENTURY 'ISLAM'15their living conditions and ways of life (though this 'Marxist' factor iscombined with other factors). Peter the Great sent Russia to school inEurope, and one of the consequences, at the end of the 19th century,was the assimilation of Marx's ideas by Lenin. But this end-product ofRussia's relative Westernisation gave rise to a movement in the contrary direction: Russia became industrialised, like Europe, but her wayof doing it estranged her from Europe. Risk, personal initiative, enterprise, private property, and the profit motive were the mainsprings ofEuropean industrialisation, not the motive of service to a more or lesssacred State or of war against the rest of the world.The increasing standardisation of mankind's material conditions isaccompanied by a religious theory of the division of mankind into twocamps. This duality is a duel, and according to communists there canbe no future for humanity unless their side wins-though it is difficultfor the unbeliever to conceive what meaning this statement can have forthem. In any case, the separation of humanity into two camps is not thework of capitalists but of Marxists.Whereas the 19th-century European socialist wanted to create a justsociety in Europe, the 20th-century European communist works for theabsorption of Europe by a totally alien system which includes nonEuropean factors and was designed to meet uniquely Russian problems.It is as though the Christian church bad worked within the RomanEmpire for the success of the Parthian monarchy, or as if every Christianin the Mediterranean world bad been an agent of the Persian bureaucracy. Persia bordered on the Roman world as Russia borders onEurope, and Rome never succeeded either in absorbing Persia or ineliminating her.There is, moreover, a resemblance between the use made of Marxismby the present masters of the totalitarian world and the conversion ofnomadic barbarians, such as the Goths of Alaric and the Turkish mercenaries of Mahmud of Gbazoa, Togrul Beg, and Alp Arslan, to theuniversal religion of the civilisations they threatened, namely Christianity in the first case and Islam in the second. Like Stalin's Marxism, theirconversion gave them the pretext for disrupting civilisation from within; as converts they were able to attack in the name of the true Faith thevery societies which bad brought the Faith to them. In the same way theMarxist chiefs of totalitarian Russia attack Western society from within, attempting to destroy the social structure of European countries forthe sake of the socialism to which these countries themselves gavebirth. There is no need to question the sincerity of the Bolshevikleaders' conscious motives. We may observe, however, that in theremote depths of Russia and central Asia the conception of Marxismand communism is probably comparable to the conception of Christian-\

16SOCIOLOGY OF COMMUNISMity entertained by the Germanic tribes (Frisians, Saxons, Chamaves,Thuringians), who were subjected to 'mass conversion' after Charlemagne's victories.The first object in the West is to prevent the integration into society ofthe proletariat. The mere existence of the 'communist' Campaign, as itis today, 1 implies that Western society is unfit for the task of integratingits own proletariat. But the continued existence of Western societydepends upon the accomplishment of this allegedly impossible task. It is aprecarious and alarming situation, indeed, for any nation if its 'lower'classes and all the disintegrating and unattached elements that adhereto them can be mobilised at the command and for the profit of a neighbouring empire.The communist design can be seen to comprise in fact a two-foldcampaign: to destroy one society and to construct another. In manycountries the society marked for destruction is on a higher material andcultu ral level than Russia. The society 'for construction' begins in theSuper-State known as Soviet Russia, and spreads outward from it.This dual significance of the Campaign is revealed in its very structureand anatomy, in the fact that the privileged ruling oligarchy ofthe RussianSuper-State is theoretically the leader of the disinherited outside thefrontiers of Russia. This is the age of general staffs, and the general staffin question is composed of the 'leaders' of the world revolution, whoscrutinise the schisms and divisions of the Western world and do allthey can to perpetuate, extend, and exploit them. But other members ofthis same general staff are concerned with constructive work insideRussia, which proceeds concurrently with the destruction abroad. Thereis social construction: the stabilising and reinforcing of the socialstratification which set in after the revolution. And there is materialconstruction: the industrialisation of R ussia-building, machinery,factories and factory products, agriculture. This type of society isfounded upon service, labour, hierarchy, and a secular religion, unlikethe 19th-century liberal capitalist society of the West, which was foundedupon profit, property, risk, and personal initiative and independence.The twofold destination and functjon of the communist Campaign isserved by two distinct groups of organs, whose separate roles were discernible from the beginning in the distinction between the RussianState and the Comintern, or Communist International. The campaignaspires to synchronise the destruction of the 'capitalist' and the construction of the 'socialist' world. Without counting the cost (in terms of1Whenever this question arises it leads to confusion. Some people mean by the wordcommunism what communism o11ght to be and others what it is; or else people use the wordnow in one sense and now in the other.:The German sociologist Spranger was the first to use this now familiar term.

THE TWENTIETH-CENTURY 'ISLAM'19organises and reinforces every impulse that sets men against theirnative society, and works pertinaciously to aid, abet, and accelerate theself-division and secession of part of their own vital force which plungesocieties into dissolution and ruin.Although the phenomenon is unprecedented since Europe emergedfrom the mediterranean world and from the migratory tribes thatpoured into it from the East and created itself out of these elements,there was once an analogous phenomenon in the eastern part of thecontinent. Soviet Russia (to use the name it gives itself, although it is amisdescription of the regime) is not the first empire in which thetemporal and public power goes band in band with a shadowy powerwhich works outside the imperial frontiers to undermine the socialstructure of neighbouring States. The Islamic East affords severalexamples of a like duality and duplicity. The Egyptian Fatirnids, andlater the Persian Safavids, were the animators and propagators, fromthe heart of their own States, of an active and organising legend, anhistorical myth, calculated to make fanatics and obtain their totaldevotion, designed to create in neighbouring States an underworld ofruthless gangsters. The eponymous ancestor of the Safavids was a saintfrom whom they magically derived the religious authority in whosename they operated. They were Shi'is of Arabian origin, and the militantorder they founded was dedicated to propaganda and 'nucleation'throughout the whole of Persia and Asia Minor. It recruited 'militants'and 'adherents' and 'sympathisers'. These were the Sufis. As rulers,their sympathies were recognised by other sovereigns in the same waythat Stalin, head of the State, is recognised by other beads of States, andrightly, as the leader of world communism. 1 This merging of religion andpolitics was a major characteristic of the Islamic world in its victoriousperiod. It allowed the head of a State to operate beyond his own frontiers in the capacity of commander of the faithful (Arnir-al-muminin);and in this way a Caliph was able to count upon docile instruments, orcaptive souls, wherever there were men who recognised his authority.The territorial frontiers which seemed to remove some of his subjectsfrom his jurisdiction were nothing more than material obstacles; armedforce might compel him to feign respect for the frontier, but propagandaand subterranean warfare could continue no less actively beyond it.Religions of this kind acknowledge no frontiers. Soviet Russia ismerely the geographical centre from which communist influence radiates; it is an 'Islam' on the march, and it regards its frontiers at anygiven moment as purely provisional and temporary. Communism, like1Spc: king before lhe second congress of Soviets, 26 January 1924, Stalin S3id: ' Lenin wasthe leader not only of the Russian proletariat and not only of the workers of Europe . but also of the whole working-class world.'

SOCIOLOGY OF COMMUNISM20victorious I slam, makes no distinction between politics and religion, butthis time the claim to be both universal State and universal truth appliesnot only within a civilisation or world which co-exists with other differentcivilisations, other worlds, but to the entire terrestrial globe. To an educated European or American, unless he is hirnselfacommunist,itappearsthat communists are religious fanatics in the service of an expansionistempire which is striving for world dominion. But communists see itdifferently: for them communism is what ought to be, and the whole ofhistory, the whole past of humanity, takes its meaning from this futureevent.Communism is on its way. A religion is seen as such only by thoseoutside it. For its adherents it is simply the highest form of truth. Forthe true believer R ussia no longer exists as such; but he does not believehe is a believer ; be believes he possesses the truth. In fact, he is possessedby something which he believes to be the truth; and for this truth hefeels an active attachment of a kind which truth (at least scientifictruth) does not usually inspire or demand. Communism is a faith, and ithas in Russia a sort of fatherland; but such a fatherland cannot be acountry like any other. Russia is to communism what the Abbasidempire was to Islam. This is only an analogy, but a necessary one.Communism is not the party of'foreign patriotism'1 ; it is a religious sectof world conquerors for whom Russia is simply the strongpoint fromwhich the attack is launched.**In the 19th century politics and religion and economics were each adistinct and separate province. They were 'specialisms', separate in factas well as in theory; and neither as subjects of study nor as activitieswas there much interchange or communication between them. Thiskind of intellectual autonomy is a characteristic feature of the liberalworld; and minds formed in this tradition, even the ablest of them, willbe at first perplexed by a phenomenon so complex and yet so unified ascommunism, which can, in a way, be described as a total social phenomenon. It is true that soldiers, historians, diplomats, and politicians, forwhom imperial rivalries arc a familiar subject, will have no difficulty inperceiving that this is yet anotber example of it: Persia and Assyria,Carthage and Rome, Habsburg and Bourbon, and now Kremlin andWhite House (or Kremlin and Wall Street, as communists put it). Forsuch observers it seems a simple struggle for power; they will read thedrama as a problem, and will easily grasp both its economic and itsstrategic aspects. But they will fail to take sufficient account of the1As M. Leon Blum called it (A I'Ecllelle humoine; Paris, GaiJiroard, 1945).

22SOCIOLOGY OF COMMUNISMstrategists of the contemporary world will ignore this fact at their riskand peril. The Campaign is what it is solely because it has provedcapable of mobilising and energising a deep and powerful fund ofaffective impulses. The fate of the Campaign, and consequently theissue of the struggle of empires, will depend less upon strategic routesand pipe-lines for uranium and oil than upon the invisible pipe-lines bywhich this modern 'Islam' canalises the resentments and discontents ofthe world it is vowed to destroy; even the unprecedentedly powerfulmodern weapons of war can be immobilised by the slow and secretcanalisation ofresentmcnts and discontents and the draining away of thewarlike spirit.****In this situation we shall get no help from the isolated study of politicaleconomy, history of ideas, history of religions, or plain history considered as the battlefield of men and conflicting wills. All these dimensions must be explored simultaneously, using for each of them itsappropriate method. When the spirit is assailed on all fronts at once itmust achieve a kind of ubiquity for its counter-attack.Western historians and sociologists have hitherto applied theirfamiliar categories to the phenomenon of communism. But these categories were evolved from Western history. It was only with difficultythat they could be made to embrace such 19th-century phenomena asnationalism and socialism, and amid the new realities which are closingin on us they are totally inadequate to evaluate the newness andoriginality of communism. An empire, or aggregate of nations andpeoples grouped around one preponderant nation, which is also a kindof religious community and at the same time engaged in sectarianproselytising, underground warfare, and the care of souls- here is aphenomenon which may well baffle members of a culture based uponthe two great historic ideas of the distinction between spiritual andtemporal and the secularisation of politics. The Christian distinctionbetween spiritualia and temporalia means the separation, at least inprinciple (for it is an ideal rather than a fact) between two powers, eachof which recognises the rights of the other even though in practice theyboth tend to encroach. Of the second idea, the secuJarisation of politics,the work of Machiavelli remains the classic expression. After ThePrince and the Discourse on Livy, the art of politics in the West becameas free as the art of cookery, and freer than that of medicine, from anyreligious or magical context. Not that the leader of men reaUy ceased tohave somethjng in common with the person in primitive societiespossessed of mana, but be came under the jurisdiction of the criticalintelligence. T oday, as in the past, there is an irrational element in the

FAlLJNG OLIGARCHY AND IMPOTENT PLEBS27lawyer, however much be needed tbem.' 1 All these discontents werebrought to a bead by the two wars (1905 and 1914), which came tooclose together. But from the beginning of the 20th century the 'revolutionary situation' was inherent in the inadequacy of the oligarchy beforeits historic tasks. There is a revolutionary state of affairs (in the mostgeneral and universally accepted sense of the word) whenever men inany definite social category begin to reject the social definition of thatcategory; in other words, when they revolt against conditions of llfcwhich are experienced as intolerable. But unless the society in whichthese revolutionary phenomena appear is itself profoundly sick therewill be nothing more than short-lived riots and disturbances. Whenevermen rebel against the conditions of their life they become exalted withideas of liberation; there is a resurgence and elaboration of myths, andthe intoxication of collective activity inspires men with a readiness tofight and die. But a revolution is successful only when it acquires astronger organisation than that of the ruling oligarchy; and from thispoint of view the successful revolutions of the 20th century have beenmade by general staffs. But these general staffs have known how toensure at least the benevolent neutrality of the majority of the population.In the R oman world it was in the structure of the a rmy that a solutionwas found for the problem set by the Senate's failure. And in the 20thcentury we find that the communist Campaign, and also its fascist andnational-socialist imitators, have modelled themselves upon the structureof the army. They have borrowed some of its characteristic and typicalfeatures: discipline, subordination, hierarchy, concerted exerc

communism what communism o11ght to be and others what it is; or else people use the word now in one sense and now in the other. :The German sociologist Spranger was the first to use this now familiar term. THE TWENTIETH-CENTURY 'ISLAM' 19 organises and reinforces every impulse that sets men against their native society, and works pertinaciously .

Related Documents:

Communism will be relevant to Indigenous liberation so long as we value kinship. Communism is kinship; kinship is communism. Marx knew this. Marx saw in Indigenous kinship the fulcrum of the commons, which he understood as the basis of communism. He understood the original form of capitalist violence was the enclosure of the commons. The caging and

ways to fight Communism, the evil-s of Communism, and the false doctrines of Communism, it could become quite dangerous. Richard I. Miller, Associate Director of the National Education Association Project on Instruction, in re-porting on Communism to the Council of Chief State School Officers at Miami Beach said:

Course: Intro to Sociology (SOC-UA1). 1. Sociology is defined as the . Sociology—An Introduction to the Science of Society. . Sociology—Themes and Perspectives Sociology: A Systematic Introduction. . Sociology, 10th Edition. Introduction to Sociology (Seagull Eleventh Edit

Introduction to Sociology. What Is Sociology? Sociology Central Introducing Sociology 1. Most, if not all, A-level Sociology students begin their course with a fairly vague idea about what is involved in the “study of society”. A copy of the syllabus is an initial starting point

THE TACTICS OF COMMUNISM By Krv Rev. Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, D D* L Q* What is the ultimate goal of Com munism ? A* The ultimate goal of Communism is the es tablishment "of world dictatorship of the prole-tariat." (Page 34, Program of the Communist In ternational Workers1 Library Publication, 193 6.) 2* Q* How does Communism propose to es

The Sociology of Climate Change as a Sociology of Loss Abstract . Islands, has lost half of its inhabitable area since 2011 [Albert, et al. 2016]. Sea levels around the world are projected to rise between one to . (urban and rural sociology); the politics of loss (political sociology); knowledge of loss (economic sociology and the

GCSE Sociology is assessed in three exams at the end of Year 11. Paper 1: Sociology Basics (25% of the course) Sociology Basics introduces you to the key elements of Sociology thinking and research practice. For this exam you need to know the key terms for Sociology as well as how gender iden

The Automotive Sector Deal, the first in a rolling series of intended deals with the sector, builds on the partnership between the government and industry that has been in place since the Automotive Council was established in 2009, setting the direction and long-term strategic priorities for the sector. This partnership has yielded results: vehicle and engine output has increased, productivity .