TENDENCIES IN RECENT GERMAN SOCIOLOGY 
Sociological Review, Vol. 24, 1932, pp. 1-13, 125-137, 249-260.
[p. 1] When you did me the honour of inviting me here to review the newer trends of German sociology, I assume that it was not your wish to hear a long list of names of German writers on the subject and an even longer list of titles of the books they have written. I take it, on the contrary, that you really wish to know the tendencies apparent to-day to an observer of German sociology who regards the science as a unity. In other words, that you would prefer to have the subject considered from the sociological rather than from the historical point of view. In any such consideration the single individuals concerned with the task sink into relative obscurity while attention is paid chiefly to the coherence of the whole of which the single scholars appear as the exponents and, to use a phrase common in Canonist language of the middle ages, as the "instrumenta vocalia."
German sociology is to be completely understood only in the light of its history, a history that differs markedly from that of Western European, and particularly from that of English and French sociology. The reason for this is that the new science was developed by vastly different social strata in the respective countries. We shall first have to realise clearly wherein this difference consists.
It is necessary for this purpose to turn back to the time when the intellectual, economic and political life of Europe began to free itself from the chains of feudalism and clericalism. That is to say, to the time when the movement began which in Germany we call the "Aufklärung," or "Enlightenment." It was then that tradition and religious revelation first began to be questioned and the superiority of human reason affirmed. The movement, in short, was rationalistic and individualistic.
Those were days in which the individual had ample grounds not only for questioning the existing order but for despairing of it. The Roman church, itself the greatest beneficiary of the feudal order, had suffered a severe deterioration and had lost that respect of the masses [p. 2] which alone made them its willing followers. Its greatest dignitaries, abbots, bishops and cardinals, and even the reigning popes, had become great feudal princes, who managed their lands no whit better than their worldly counterparts. In the ceaseless intrigues, bickerings and wars of these petty princes the people suffered frightfully. The previous order of the middle ages, in which every willing and capable worker had his appointed place, almost as every polyp has in a coral reef, had quite disappeared, and with it most of the security in existence. The people found themselves suddenly without roofs over their heads, subject to all the rigours of the elements, and they found that means for their maintenance could be evolved only from their own power of thinking. This situation necessitated the immense changes of the period. In the realm of the Church it brought about the Reformation, to which in this connection we must reckon also the revival of the Church discipline in Catholicism; politically it caused Absolutism to supersede the rule of the Estates of the Realm; economically it caused the transition of the regulated economy of the middle ages to the free Capitalistic economy of modern times; philosophically it made possible the transition from religious tradition to the sovereignty of Rationalism. These phenomena are one and all the growth of a single root; the absolute State also is a creature of the revaluation of all values and as such is rationalistic to the core.
In Western Europe, from Descartes onward, the vanguard of the Reformation consisted principally of mathematicians and natural scientists. And in France as in England, these found a powerful following in the newly arisen and ever-growing Third Estate, in the entrepreneurs of trade, industry and banking. For this class could hope to arrive at complete civic equality and at the recognition by the state of its particular interests only if it could overcome the privileges of the feudal order which still bore so heavily upon it both politically and economically. For this reason also, the Third Estate was everywhere in the beginning the true ally of struggling absolutism. Only when the absolute sovereignty of the prince had conquered its feudalistic opponent, when the nobles became courtiers, was this alliance dissolved. Only then did the Third Estate turn against the absolute monarchy and overthrow it in the English revolution of 1649 and the French revolution of 1789.
In Germany the developments were entirely different. There the Estates won in the struggle with Caesarism. The territorial princes seized complete factual sovereignty and this rule was even made formal when at length in 1806 the house of Habsburg withdrew from the struggle for the German crown. Before all else, German capitalism, strongly developed at one time, was for a considerable period entirely destroyed. Landbound country as it is, Germany had already suffered severely from the development of marine traffic and the [p. 3] dislocation of trade routes generally that followed the period of discoveries. Previously, almost all important highways of world trade were land routes, and these crossed Germany from east to west and from north to south, enriching her towns and townsfolk. But now merchant shipping began to supplant to an ever greater extent the old caravan trade and Germany lost heavily in the process. The political control of the Scandinavian kingdoms and of the North and Baltic seas slipped from her grasp, and economically she began to drop behind the newly-flourishing Western powers of Spain, France, Holland and England. And then, as a final blow, came the Thirty Years' War, that great decisive struggle between the central authority and the territorial princes which, fought under the cloak of a religious war, devastated the land. In the course of this war great areas were laid waste and transformed into unpeopled solitudes. In the depopulated and impoverished towns only odds and ends of trade were left and along with them a handicraft that was robbed of all freedom of movement by petrified guild laws. There remained, in other words, no Third Estate of great and important burghers but only a heap of timid townspeople who were kept in leading strings by the petty tyrants. Thus there was lacking here almost completely that strong array that in Western Europe stood ready to battle for the emancipation of husbandry and intellect. The pillars of the Enlightenment in Germany were, for this reason, not self-confident, worldly and free burghers of influence and power, but chiefly public officials, jurists, parsons and professors of universities. And thus matters remained for a century-and-a-half, until Germany had recovered somewhat from the black abyss into which she had fallen, until the freeing of the agricultural labourers from serfdom placed at the disposal of the infant industries of the country those workers without whom capitalism is impossible, and until, finally, the unorganised heap of petty and medium-sized sovereign states was gathered, by means of the customs union, into a single body-economic which, as such, could close its markets against the flood of foreign products and develop its industries in accordance with the possibilities offered by its own consuming power.
The German Enlightenment thus took a different course from that taken by its Western European counterpart, and it held a different content. In Western Europe a position against the despotic state of Absolutism was quickly and readily taken, but in Germany the pillars of the Enlightenment, bureaucrats as they were to a large extent, remained faithful to the State that ruled and nourished them. In other words, the movement in Germany lacked that decisively revolutionary element that characterised it in France and in England. The content of the philosophical speculation called forth by the Enlightenment was also necessarily different in Germany. State employees are a step removed from ordinary economic life. Having [p. 4] a fixed income they are somewhat distant from the struggle for existence and they are readily inclined to place little value on material economic things and to concern themselves rather with the purely intellectual interests of the people. Nor is this all. The intellectual leaders of the German Enlightenment were professors of philosophy, most of them from the north of Germany, breathing the spirit of Protestantism. Moreover, the most eminent among them, Herder, Fichte and Hegel, were themselves originally theologians. Now it is clear that even a very enlightened theologian will but rarely regard the things of this world with the same freedom from bias that is attained by a mathematician, a natural scientist or a great merchant. In one way or another these men were still bound to the tradition from which they attempted to wrest themselves. And that found characteristic expression in their philosophy. The result of their efforts, in so far as they occupied themselves with the concerns of sociology, was almost exclusively philosophy of history. But all philosophy of history, as Benedetto Croce has shown, has an essentially theological orientation. To ask after the sense or meaning of history was to ask after the plan of God, unrolled, so to speak, as though it were a mighty game of chess, conducted with the powers of the underworld. The Protestant philosophy, however, no longer acknowledged the personal God of the Bible and revelation, and it was necessary therefore, in following the philosophy of history, to substitute the " idea" for the deity. The German philosophers of the day, as my pupil, Professor Salomon, puts it, "turned the Theophany into an Ideophany," or in other words, they arrived at a sort of dogmatic metaphysics which differed widely from Western European philosophy with its ever-stronger trend towards positivism. I will show, further on, that German social philosophy is burdened to this very day with some of the chains forged in that period.
The year 1789 brought victory to the Third Estate and the Enlightenment over the feudal order in France. And at the same time it brought the tremendous disappointment that regularly ensues when humanity attains a hotly-desired aim. It was not merely indignation over the countless executions, chiefly those of Louis XVI. and his queen, that fostered the anti-revolutionary spirit in Europe. In addition thereto came the realisation that enlightenment and revolution could not fulfil the promises that had been held out by their protagonists. The prophecy had been generally made that political freedom would bring the harmony of all interests, that in the life of the State it would make possible the rule of the infallible, all-wise, all-powerful and all-good volonté générale - substitute for God, devised by Jean Jacques Rousseau - while in the economic sphere it was to cause an immeasurable growth of wealth and a much evener distribution of it among all people. But political unanimity somehow failed [p. 5] to appear and, if wealth really did increase astonishingly, the distribution of it was no more satisfactory than it had been before. The great masses of the people remained in the same dire poverty and the burden of their labour seemed rather to increase than diminish. And in foreign affairs the new French democracy shortly revealed itself as even more combative than the absolutist State had previously been.
Under these circumstances it was inevitable that a strong counter-revolutionary current should develop everywhere in Europe, a current in which the most diverse elements could find a common ground. The nobility and clergy with their followers, and the advocates of absolutism, in fact, all beneficiaries of the old order, both in the lands where they had been stripped of their power, and in those, like Germany and Austria, where the revolution had not penetrated and merely the threat existed, found themselves in ideological accord with disappointed petty burghers and academicians. One and all cried "backward" ! But each element wanted to return to a different period of the past, a period that seemed to it particularly happy. The clergy preferred the Pope-ruled corpus christianum of the early middle ages; the knights wanted to return to the age of chivalry; the monarchists desired a restoration of the absolute rule of kings; the petty burghers harked back to the golden days of the guilds. The catch-words of the movement were supplied chiefly by the Irishman, Edmund Burke, by the Frenchmen, Bonald and de Maistre and by the Germans, Novalis, Schlegel, Stahl and von Haller. Political reaction became prevalent everywhere. In France it began with the rise of Napoleon and became even more pronounced after his fall when the Bourbons returned to the throne. And, as Macaulay tells, the Englishman of the day who uttered sympathetic comments upon the French revolution over his beefsteak and porter invited deportation to Australia and even risked the gallows. It was then that Spence was sent to the assizes and then, too, that the house of the great chemist and Dissenter, Priestley, was mobbed and plundered. In Central Europe, not to mention Russia, the blackest reaction held sway, grounded in the so-called Holy Alliance of the powers with Metternich at its head. And Metternich's assistant was the ill-famed Gentz, who translated Burke into German.
This political movement found its parallel in an intellectual one that turned sharply against the philosophy of the Enlightenment. In France this intellectual development had a strong catholic-canonist tinge, while in Germany it appeared as the somewhat murky mixture of so-called "Romanticism." The origin of it may be traced to that mechanism which Gabriel Tarde called "imitation par opposition"; it was the photographic negative of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was individualistic, rationalistic and not merely non-historical but decidedly anti-historical. The succeeding movement, [p. 6] consequently, was "universalistic," or "organic," which is to say, its advocates reasoned from the notion of humanity instead of the notion of the individual as such. The counter movement, moreover, was "irrationalistic," inasmuch as it discarded subjective individual understanding and proclaimed its faith rather in the intelligence which unfolded itself plantlike in the development of language, justice and the State. It was, therefore, deeply interested in history and was resolved to uphold that which had come to exist as legitimate precisely because it had come to exist. "Nature is wisdom without reflexion and above it," was the catch-word given to the entire movement by Edmund Burke.
Such was the situation, then, from which the new science of sociology took its rise. The Enlightenment was the thesis, the intellectual counter-revolution was the antithesis, and sociology is the attempt at a synthesis. The problem, which Auguste Comte saw with entire clarity when he set himself to solve it as an adherent of his master, Saint Simon, was, how to combine progress, the principle of the Enlightenment, with order, the principle of the counter-revolution. Therewith the proposition was placed before sociology once and for all - savoir pour prévoir - to study the mighty elementary forces evolved in the social process and to bend them to the service of humanity, just as it had already been discovered how to tame the far less powerful and destructive forces of wind and fire so that human civilisation could be advanced thereby.
The method to be followed by the new science as the synthesis of the two conflicting tendencies was likewise prescribed for it. This method was to combine the rationalism of the Enlightenment with the irrationalism of Romanticism. That is to say, recourse was had to rational thought as the sole means available to men for understanding and mastering their environment, the method being rationalistic to that extent. Unlike the Enlightenment, however, the new science reasoned not from the absolute individual, timeless and solitary, but on the contrary from the naturally-developed communities. The attempt to understand society from the individual was given up and in its stead there was instituted the opposite thesis, that of understanding the individual from his society - the germ, be it remarked, of that theory which has been so fruitfully cultivated in late years, the theory of social-psychological determinism. It is through such determinism that society as a whole maintains its "consensus," maintains the harmonious attuning of all cells of the great body through which alone it sustains itself and in which only the members of society can be humans in any other than a mere zoological sense.
The great exponents of this science were Auguste Comte in France and Herbert Spencer in England, the latter coming a generation after the Frenchman, and being, therefore, profoundly influenced by the [p. 7] Darwinian theory of the evolution of species. In Germany, the leader of the new school was the influential philosopher Hegel, a contemporary of Comte. Comte and Spencer, however, were Positivists, whereas the former protestant theologian Hegel was the most typical representative of German dogmatic metaphysics. In the one place we have sociology in its narrower sense; in the other a philosophy of history with its canonist earmarks plainly visible.
The ensuing history of German sociology, which is the real subject of our discourse, can he understood only if it is apprehended as a crossing of the Western European with the Central European train of thought. Not as though the two ranges of ideas had previously existed side by side quite without contact. It is well known how strongly Rousseau influenced Kant, who in turn was the great master of Hegel. Rousseau's bearing on Kant, moreover, must be considered in the added light of the impression made on the French thinker by the doctrine which Mandeville first sketched and which Adam Smith fully elaborated, that of the harmonising of all particular interests by means of free competition. This doctrine, under the name of the "strategy of reason," became one of the supporting pillars of Hegel's entire system. Whoever believed, as did all civil society at that time, in the restoration of economic harmony by means of competition, must have found confirmation of the thought that society is a huge living body in the marvellous fact that the free play of the interests of all individuals constitutes the very motor of the social consensus. We shall have occasion to speak later of the marked alteration that took place in European sociology in all countries and in all its branches when the belief in this beneficial power of competition was lost. The optimism that characterised its teaching previously was replaced by the blackest pessimism, so that economics, for instance, could be stigmatised by Carlyle as the "dismal science." But first we have to consider the development occasioned in the German philosophy of history by this close association with Western European sociology.
The men through whom and in whom this development first made itself felt were two gifted and learned scholars of Hegel, Lorenz Stein, who taught and died in Vienna and became the most famous of the German-speaking professors of economics and administrative jurisprudence, and Karl Marx. The researches of the former took him to Paris, the latter came to the same place as an exile. Both arrived in the French capital about 1840, in the excited period between the July and February revolutions, and they came into personal contact with all the great souls and fiery hearts that were then trying to find a solution for the social problem; with the Saint-Simonists, Bazard and Enfantin, with the Fourierist Considerant, with Proudhon, Louis Blanc, Roux, and all the other French revolutionaries and socialists and with those of other countries who had fled to France as well. [p. 8] And then and there the gulf was bridged, the two trains of thought melted into one. Stein wrote his famous book, "Socialism and the Social Movement in France," a book which became sheerly definitive for German socialism. Marx found in it the basis of his sociological views elaborated to almost as complete an extent as he found the basis of his economic views in David Ricardo. It was under the influence of the mighty enthusiasms of the time that Marx wrote his famous earlier works: The Class Conflicts in France, The 18th of Brumaire, and above all, The Communist Manifesto.
Conversely it may be noted that non-German, particularly Western European sociology, was also enriched and extended by this synthesis. It suffices here to say that two elements of Karl Marx's system were of great influence far beyond the borders of Germany, two elements which he possessed as a Hegelian. These were firstly the dialectic method, taken over from Hegel, which to-day is generally discredited, although it must be said that in skilled hands it constitutes a valuable heuristic principle. And the second Hegelian element in the Marxian system - the more important one - is historical materialism. In his Philosophy of Identity, Hegel conceived of all material and particularly of all social being as emanating from the mystical consciousness of the "world-spirit," or alternatively, from that of the various "folk-spirits." This causal relation was reversed by Marx. You will recall the humorous turn he gave to it. Hegel, he said, stood matter on its head, that is, on thought, whereas he had reversed it, thereby putting it on its feet. Consciousness did not determine being, but being determined consciousness. Though crude and encumbered with much dross, this was the first approach to our modern, clear and highly-developed doctrine of social-psychological determinism; the first approach, in other words, to the discovery of the primary law of all social psychology, in accordance with which the individual considers everything that furthers the interests of his group as wise and just, and everything that harms those interests as wrong and offensive.
To revert again to the course taken by German sociology, it is necessary, I think, to ascribe two of its characteristics to its descent from the dogmatic metaphysical philosophy of history. These characteristics differentiate it markedly to this very day from Western European sociology and from the highly-developed American sociology, which must be grouped with that of Western Europe. One of these differences redounds, as I believe, to the advantage of the German school, the other to its disadvantage.
Unless my personal equation as a German academician misleads me, I think I may claim as a merit of German sociology, its tireless endeavour to reconsider and reformulate its axiomatic foundations and to become fully conscious and certain of its method. From the German [p. 9] point of view, the majority of Western European and American sociologists leave much to be desired in this connection. We admire their intimate knowledge of social phenomena in every class and stratum, and we envy the common-sense of their reflections and the crystal clearness of their speech, but we find that they often neglect to lay their foundations deep enough. We are accustomed, owing to the influence of our puissant Immanuel Kant, to take careful thought as to the very possibility of cognition; accustomed, that is, to refer back to the a priori elements of knowledge. We find this self-examination lacking in Positivism to a most unfortunate extent at times. We are convinced that it poured out the child with the bath, that the critique of cognition was thrown quite overboard along with dogmatic metaphysics. The chief result of this has been what Troeltsch calls "monism of method," which is something that we cannot unhesitatingly concede as justified. It seems advisable at least to investigate whether the mathematical method of natural science used almost exclusively and unquestioningly by Western European sociologists is really the only one permissible or possible in social studies. We have but two sources of cognition, our senses and introspective observation of our own mental processes. The impressions received through the first source are indirect and the method of natural science is therefore necessary in considering them. Our own inward observation, however, is direct and it is a question whether the method of natural science can be employed here at all or can be employed without certain precautions which I shall presently explain.
Concerning these things much has been thought and written in Germany, with a particular view to furthering sociological investigation. The aim of such inquiries has been not so much to produce sociology but rather to investigate the possibility of its existence as an independent science. The pioneer-worker here was Wilhelm Dilthey, notably in his famous book: Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften, that is Introduction to the Mental Science. Further progress in these investigations was made by Heinrich Rickert, who wrote Ueber die Grenzen der naturwissenschaftlichen Begriffsbildung - Inquiry into the Conceptual Limitations of Natural Science - and more recently Edmund Husserl has continued them in his Logische Untersuchungen - Researches in Logic. It was shown in these inquiries, albeit reluctantly at times, that the possibility of a sociology must be conceded. It was maintained that the same object of perception, namely, socio-historical reality, is to be considered by sociology in a nomothetic sense, that is to say, from the point of view of those elements which reappear everywhere in accordance with observable laws, while history is to confine itself to the treatment of that which is singular and not repetitive. This is not the time or place to engage in an exhaustive criticism of [p. 10] these latter contentions, but I may mention that I do not share them. I have long held and elaborated the view that all history as it is usually understood was and is nothing more than a descriptive idealisation, written from the standpoint of a particular national or class group. I am of the opinion, nevertheless, that it is quite imperative, in order to avoid overstepping logical limitations, to differentiate sharply between the "mechanistic," that is, the mathematical approach on the one hand, and the "psychological" approach on the other hand. I might add that I consider it possible in this way - but only in this way - to prove the Positivist principle of interpretation justified in so far as it treats of the actions of large groups. For the analysis showed, in accordance with the primary law of social psychology, that the particular circumstances in which a group finds itself call forth certain reactions, certain representations and feelings which in turn are the mainsprings of action. As a necessary connection is established here, it is possible to abstract from the intermediary and arrive thus at the Positivist conclusion that given circumstances will evoke correlative group actions in accordance with stated laws. It must be remembered, however, that this exact connection is valid only for the "Statics "of society, which is never quite realised since it represents, fundamentally, nothing more than a methodological fiction. More important still, the connection does not hold good for the "suprasocial personality," the inspired and creative individual, who therefore remains the object of individualistic, idiographic history.
These labours of the German logicians and theorists of science have also their dark side. They have resulted in the fostering of a widespread movement which has brought us a veritable deluge of logical and methodological investigations. It must be admitted that many of these works had better been left unwritten and unprinted. One might almost liken the spread of this tendency in German Sociology to that of a fashionable disease. Instead of grappling with the real pressing problems of general sociology and its related sciences, which incidentally requires no little courage since it entails the adoption of a definite position in the strife of parties, many of our younger intellectuals have preferred to devote themselves to this very innocuous realm of our science, the more so, perhaps, since it requires but small study of sociological facts and of the vast literature concerning them. A few scholastic terms and a beseeming modicum of self-confidence suffice for the production of very learned looking books about these things, books which are the more certain to gain the respect of the inexpert if they are written in impossibly difficult language full of esoteric words and dark phrases.
[p. 11] The movement, nevertheless, has not been unproductive of good results. On the contrary, it has given rise to developments which, I believe, will prove of benefit to all schools of sociology and not merely the German one. The most important of these results, it seems to me, is the recognition of the necessity for differentiating clearly between sociology in its real and stricter sense, and social philosophy. Sociology is a purely rationalistic, non-evaluating science in search of casual connections, whereas social philosophy is oriented toward values and attempts to determine the order or scale of values. One of the leading workers in the establishment of this distinction was the late Georg Simmel, Professor first in Berlin and later in Strassburg. We shall also have to consider his views in another connection later on. Simmel is not to be classed among those philosophers who confine their attention to the intellect in the belief, still held by Auguste Comte, that it is the true motor of the social process, but rather among those who base their consideration on life as a whole, on the "thinking, feeling and acting human," as Dilthey put it. In general it may be said that this school of thought began in Germany with the natural philosopher Schelling and was carried on by Schopenhauer who considered the intellect as nothing more than a servant of the will, as the "Lantern with which the blind will provided itself." Dilthey and Simmel are the more modern representatives of this school which, of late, has received a strong Western European impetus through Bergson's philosophy of life.
Of hardly less importance for the methodological security of sociological foundations are certain works by Professor Max Weber, of Heidelberg, who also, to our sorrow, died much too early. Trained as a jurist, Weber was able to bring to bear all the conscientiousness in defining concepts that characterises the good legal mind. This was quite apparent even in those first important inquiries in economic history which he conducted as a follower of Gustav Schmoller and as a distinguished adherent of the so-called younger school of historical economics. His investigations in the history of agriculture, particularly among the Romans, are truly classical and are still considered standard. His course, after completing them, took him always more deeply into the central problems of sociology. He approached, after a time, to the position taken by Rickert and by Simmel, who, in that earlier period of his which we have still to consider, regarded sociology essentially as social-psychology. Weber's article on "comprehending sociology "' - " Verstehende Soziologie" - and his study of "ideal types" have been of great influence in Germany. In the first-named essay he defines sociology as a science whose purpose is to understand the meaning of social behaviour and, having arrived at such understanding, fundamentally to explain both its sequence and its effect thereby. Social behaviour is described as behaviour which, in its [p. 12] purposive sense, is directed toward the conduct of others, receiving its orientation in this wise. Hence, the inquiry concerns itself not with the question of whether the behaviour is correct or whether it is true in any metaphysical connection, but solely with the question of the purposive sense of the subject. This purposive sense is to be grasped and the subject thus "understood," which in turn is to "explain" the behaviour itself. The various modes of understanding, rational or sympathetic-emotional, actual or explanatory, are carefully separated and considered. In the second study, Weber undertook the delineation of ideal types, which are indispensable to the sociologist as a methodological aid. The aim here, however, was not to idealise, not that is, to evaluate phenomena either positively or negatively, but rather to work out a type as it might be thought to have developed in free and undisturbed conditions. Such ideal types are, for instance, the various steps of social economy: village, city, national and world economy. These are not instances of pure reality, since there are, of course, always transitions and external disturbances. Nevertheless, they must be set up for reasons of thought-economy, so that the mass of phenomena may be strained, so to speak, through a graduated sieve, thus making an orientation possible. To one of his last works, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - Society and Social Economy - he was still able to apply many finishing touches. In this he presented a superb conspectus of the results of his earlier studies and in addition redefined with the utmost precision a great many of the most important sociological concepts. He likewise initiated in several weighty volumes an exhaustive inquiry into one of the most difficult of our special studies, that of the sociology of religion. And in another special study of sociology, economic history, he delivered a series of lectures which have since been made into a book that is remarkable for its masterful and concise comparative presentation of a huge mass of material concerning not only the various peoples of Europe in all stages of development, but also those of Egypt and the Orient.
The group which approximates to the position taken by Max Weber is a large one, and of these one at least is to be singled out - Werner Sombart. He likewise is a representative of the historical school of economics and a follower of Schmoller. Sombart's writings, particularly his three volume book on Modern Capitalism, have spread his fame far outside the German border. Sociological method has also occupied him greatly, but chiefly he has been concerned to gather and systematise the vast mass of material appertaining to the sociology of the capitalistic era. His fundamental approach is somewhat allied to that of Hegel, inasmuch as he attributes the origin of capitalism to the "spirit of capitalism," the latter having spread in some fashion or other. Precisely in this instance, however, as I [p. 13] believe I have shown conclusively, it is possible to apply the primary law of social-psychological determinism with all the assurance of mathematical certainty. At the time of transition from the late middle ages to modern times a violent change in the social and economic situation of European peoples took place by virtue of the fact, as Georg Friedrich Knapp puts it, that the Knight was converted into an agrarian capitalist, or Lord of the Manor. And this occurred under the influence of definitely ascertained changes in the world-market. The land, until then subject to free settlement by the peasantry or yeomanry, was monopolised by the nobility, and further occupation by the Western peasantry impeded. The consequence was that the agricultural population, proletarised and robbed of its means of production, migrated in swarms to the towns, where it ranged itself as a new fourth estate under the third estate which had previously formed the base of the social pyramid. These propertyless proletarians underbid each other, wages sank and profit appeared and with it capitalism and the capitalist spirit, whereas the previous era, which knew no proletarians, was dominated by the contrary "community spirit," or spirit of fellowship.
Besides the deaths of Georg Simmel and Max Weber, German sociology deplores that of a third scholar of wide attainments, Ernst Troeltsch, who likewise made himself precious to us for his delvings into the philosophical foundations of sociology and his attempts to sunder sociology in its narrower sense from social philosophy. Moreover, in his famous and truly first-rate book on The Social Doctrines of Christian Churches and Sects, he made an invaluable contribution to the sociology of religion. Years ago Troeltsch delivered a series of lectures in English Universities which caused much comment, and many a listener here will remember them with pleasure. In his lecture on the Dynamics of History according to the Positivist Philosophy of History, the essential difference between German sociology, with its reliance upon philosophy and the critique of cognition, and Western European sociology, with its basis of natural science, is worked out more clearly than almost anywhere else. Here Troeltsch acknowledged with splendid impartiality the truly monumental achievements of Saint-Simon, Comte and Spencer, but showed nevertheless that they lacked the deepest foundations and were unable therefore to accomplish their aims by their own powers. In the purely causal explanation at which they were aiming another element of which they were unaware showed its head despite themselves, an element of teleology, which in the final analysis is always traditional theology.
[p. 125] It is quite impossible, within the narrow limits set for these discourses, thoroughly to consider even the main currents of German social philosophy. Nor would I, as a representative of sociology in its narrower sense, possess the competence for such a discussion. Moreover, it is still impossible to delimit this study with any precision from that of general philosophy. For these reasons I shall content myself next with a consideration of two thinkers who still embody rather plainly the thesis and antithesis whose synthesis occasioned the origin of modern sociology. The first of these, an almost pure product of the Enlightenment, is Leonard Nelson of Göttingen, who, to our great sorrow, has just passed away while still in his prime. The second is the Vienna Professor, Othmar Spann, a representative of Romanticism.
Spiritually speaking, Leonard Nelson is a son of Jacob Fries and therefore a grandchild of Immanuel Kant. Although his published writings contain weighty conclusions about the theory of cognition, his chief labours were devoted to practical philosophy, that is, to ethics, jurisprudence and political theory. And through these labours he found direct contact with sociology in its narrower sense.
His first book to appear was the Critique of Practical Reason, a work of inexorable logic and crystal clearness of presentation. It begins with a penetrating psychological analysis from which it appears that the normal man possesses, a priori, that is, independently of all experience, the originally nebulous feeling of duty or, what comes to the same thing, the feeling of the rights of his fellows. This feeling is manifested, for instance in the instinctive rescue from danger of the fellowman as such, of strangers as well as friends, despite the risk which it may entail to the rescuer's own life. And it is shown unequivocally in the lively protest of the conscience before, and in the remorse after, an unethical act. This originally dark feeling permits of complete clarification through reflection; it speaks of a law, a shall, that requires unconditional obedience. It speaks as a categorical [p. 126] imperative and is to be sharply distinguished from the hypothetical imperatives of prudence. The hypothetical imperative declares: "If you desire or wish to avoid certain results, then you must act in such and such a fashion." But the categorical imperative declares: "You shall in such a case act in such a fashion, regardless of the consequences; if you act differently, then you draw on yourself an infinite or uncompensatable disapprobation, uncompensatable, even though your misdeed have the most beneficial results."
Nelson shows next that jurisprudence can proceed from no other basis than this a priori law, which dominates all social life independently of all experience. The principle of justice cannot be traced back to an external will, for that would lead us into an infinite regress; we should have to ask constantly what higher will in turn could oblige that will. Quite as ineffectual is any attempt to trace back the principle of justice to a purpose, for then there could be no justice but only rules of expediency, no categorical but only hypothetical imperatives. Nor can it be based on contract, as every contract presupposes law; nor on compulsion, for injustice can also be compelled, and an obligation remains just, even where there is no compulsion. An unjust power may call itself righteous, but only the observance of the principle of justice can turn the relation of might into a relation of right. Nor, finally, can it be derived from universal acknowledgement, for if it could there would be no errors of justice.
Thus far this philosophy is essentially Kantian. But Nelson goes far beyond the master in that he sets forth not only the form but also the content or matter of justice. Justice is righteousness, and righteousness is the observance of the equal merit or dignity of all persons. That is the precept for the mutual limitation of interests. The law reads: "Never act so that you would find yourself in disagreement with your own actions if the interests of those affected by them were also your interests." Every philosophy of justice that does not build upon this bedrock ends in absurdities; it is, as the title of a destructively controversial work indicates, "Jurisprudence without Right."
From this standpoint Nelson proceeds in his second important work, the System of Philosophical Jurisprudence and Political Theory, to considerations in which he tackles with rare courage precisely those burning problems of sociology from which our methodologists shrink. If justice exists to realise righteousness and if righteousness consists essentially in equality, then a critique of property becomes necessary. Here Nelson reached conclusions which are identical with those that form the chief result of my own lifework. There are certain forms of property which originated through the violation of the equal rights of others and such forms are unrighteous, even though they may be confirmed and documented by the positive right of their time and people. [p. 127] Such a positive right, indubitably unrighteous according to the perception of our own times, is that, for instance, of slavery, which robs the human of his value to himself, that is, of his dignity. A similar positive right, equally unrighteous, is that of the monopolisation by a few, to the exclusion and disinheritance of the majority, of the common heritage of all earthly beings, the land with all its treasures. In this gigantic land enclosure, for such it is in substance, the great problem of our time, that of capitalism, has its root, as none other than Karl Marx expressly testified. This positive right finds legal form in the ownership of great estates, and to abolish it, as unrighteous is a command of justice.
It must also be remarked that this thorough-going socialist was an equally resolute anti-democrat, if democracy is to be taken as identical with parliamentarism. He maintained that rule over the State should not be exercised by an individual or family, a group caste or party, but by justice, represented by the wisest person, i.e., by him who not only knows the requirements of justice in all situations but also possesses the will to realise them. This sage must obviously hold undisputed sway. To establish powers of control or restriction over him were to show a want of sense. For either the controlling persons are wiser than the ruler, in which case they ought to assume sovereignty, or else they are less wise, in which case they can only hinder and restrict the ruler in his good designs. Now, if it can be scientifically ascertained what justice is and what righteousness demands, then it would be as absurd to vote on such matters in parliament as it would be to vote on the question whether two and two are four. As humans everywhere place their reliance in experts in medicine, architecture and law, so also ought peoples to entrust themselves to the expert in justice and righteousness. On account of these heresies Nelson was expelled from the Socialist Party in Germany in proceedings that were disgraceful. He was accused of leanings toward Fascism. But the fact is that he diverged from Fascism in very material respects. Fascism asserts that might invariably and of necessity precedes right and should so precede it, whereas Nelson demanded that right should constantly precede might. Moreover, Fascism throttles all open discussion, whether in public print or in meetings, whereas Nelson postulated the absolute freedom of public expression of opinion as the sole corrective of the power of the ruler.
We turn now to a consideration of the equally combative and highly-gifted latter-day representative of Romanticism, the Austrian, Othmar Spann. Spann derives from Romanticism and is fully cognisant thereof. His great authority is Adam Müller, a politician and economist, who gained a measure of fame at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Though a man of attainments and persuasive gifts, Müller's character was none too strong. He sold himself for rather evil services [p. 128] for the âme damnée of Metternich, that same Gentz whom I mentioned previously, and finally turned Catholic as did so many others of like tendencies. Spann lays great emphasis on the universalistic derivation of Romanticism and this point must be conceded to him. For it is a fact that the whole takes precedence over its parts, not only logically as Aristotle already knew, but also in an evolutionary sense. There is everywhere at first a living whole which, in the process of differentiation and integration, gradually puts forth its "parts," or its "functional elements," as Spann more aptly calls them. This holds true for the individual organism and no less so for the supraorganism of society. This perception, as we said before, must in fact be the point of departure for all sociological reflexion. But such thinking, to stress this point also, must then be pursued with thorough rationalism and the strictest logic. For this the chief requirement is that every sociologist should become aware of his own "personal equation," as Herbert Spencer called the aggregate of notions and valuations that each of us unwittingly receives from his group by virtue of social-psychological determinism. This personal equation is carried over by each of us into our scientific labours and it forms an ideological veil that we must learn to tear, as otherwise we are apt to gaze not into the world of reality but into a mirror which reflects our own sociological features. And it seems to me that Spann did not succeed entirely in freeing himself from his own personal equation. He has the typical mentality of the German-Austrian, namely that of a formerly ruling but deposed language group teeming with suppressed complexes, to use a psycho-analytical expression. He is nationalistic to the point of chauvinism. He believes firmly in racial superiority and this finds expression in violent anti-semitism. Characteristically, he holds fast to the doctrine of might and militarism, resembling in this respect his countryman, Ratzenhofer, who, however, has an entirely different sociological orientation derived from the Enlightenment and carried to the extreme almost of caricature. Spann's sociological labours - he is also an economic theorist of note - hardly seem to me to have benefited by this intermingling. Nevertheless, his efforts to create a sociology with a sufficient philosophical base are very stimulating and worthy of careful study.
Having discussed in Nelson and Spann the chief representatives of the thesis and antithesis in the present generation of German sociologists, we ought now to consider several latter-day products of the Hegelian synthesis.
The followers of scientific Marxism come to mind immediately in this connection although their significance for the social theory of our time is fast diminishing. One might almost say that their scientific significance diminishes in direct ratio to their growing political influence. [p. 129] Indeed, the Marxian economic theories are so riddled that a leading member of the German Social-Democratic Party was recently able to say that Marxism is a "ghostly ruin." And not only are Marxian economics going into eclipse but also the social-philosophical and sociological teachings of the school. Such sociology, of course, tends toward that "historical materialism" which was handed down by Marx and Engels and which has now been raised in Soviet Russia to the rank of a State religion. We have already pointed out that this conception was the first approximation to the doctrine of social-psychological determinism which to-day has reached a stage of high development. We pointed out also that it was then mixed with much dross and but a beginning. The originally Marxian contention that it is solely the economic "production-relation," operating as social being, which determines social consciousness, is untenable. Marx held that the former constitutes the "base upon which the ideological super-structure turns in accordance with fundamental law." But I have been able to show that his concept of economic production is too broad and will not bear the light of a closer analysis. It includes not only the subject matter of economics but also that of technique. Worse still, it covers all the creations of extra-economic force, to wit, the State, the Estates of the Realm, the classes and the great landed properties. The clearest differentiation is essential here. Nevertheless it remains true that at least all those ideologies which relate to social matters, namely, the popular notions and currently accepted scientific theories about the State, the nation, Estates of the Realm, classes, property, history, &c., &c., are in fact determined by the social-economic position of the group in which and for which they are effective and whose momentary interests they reflect. It is one of the chief tasks of sociology to gain a clearer insight into these correlations and in this way make it possible for the individual sociologist to learn the full details of his own "personal equation." It is precisely this field of enquiry which has been chosen for cultivation by the "Frankfurt school," and it would seem to me that its efforts have been attended with considerable success. In my own economic and sociological writings there are numerous contributions to this important theme. My pupil, Professor Gottfried Salomon, published a first significant study of the subject under the title, History as Ideology, in a volume issued in my honour on my sixtieth birthday, and he is now working on a comprehensive examination of the ideologies of the French middle class. And another pupil of mine, Dr. Heinz Ziegler, has lately finished a profound and revealing treatise entitled Nation and Democracy, in which he discloses that Apple of Discord among all peoples, the concept of the nation, as nothing more than an ideological myth which corresponds to no reality and which consequently changes its content continually in accordance with the dictates of the political or economic interests of the carrying group. Ziegler shows, moreover, [p. 130] that the sociological function of the concept is that of a mirror in which each of the capitalistic peoples, split by class antagonisms, nevertheless sees itself as a unity, the consciousness of which alone makes possible the growth of a consensus. This concept of the "nation" is thus shown to be simply one of the "sentiments" with which the works of Ribot and MacDougall have made us familiar as binding symbols of every highly organised group. Fouillée calls them "idées forces." Actually we are concerned here with a number of inborn human instincts which are grouped around one or more concrete or abstract nuclei. Such "sentiments," for this reason, are not merely pale and powerless representations. On the contrary, they contain the full motivating power of the "conations" correlated with such instincts, or in other words, the impulses toward the realisation of the instinctive aims. And, incidentally, I wish to take this opportunity to say that German sociology and social psychology have been very greatly influenced by MacDougall's classical work on Social Psychology. It is one of the most frequently consulted books in our domain.
The Marxian doctrine of historical materialism assumes, fundamentally, this correct standpoint. For this reason, and particularly because its concept of the economic production-relation is elastic enough to turn and stretch as occasion demands, the defenders of the doctrine have a great advantage over their opponents. They gain victories in the name of historical materialism which actually were won by arguments based on social-psychological determinism. This is true, for instance, of the ablest living representative of Marxist social-philosophy, the Vienna Professor, Max Adler, who came off very well, in my opinion, in a dispute with the gifted legal-philosopher, Hans Kelsen, concerning the sociological concept of the State. The oldest and best-known representative of the Marxian school is Karl Kautsky, who recently published a two-volume work on historical materialism. As a social philosopher, however, Kautsky is not nearly so highly regarded as is Adler, who is profoundly learned in philosophy and an able follower of Kant. Kautsky was never anything but an apologist and expounder of the Marxian pronouncements which be defends to the letter with all the fanaticism of a priest.
There is another school of German social-philosophy which likewise derives from Hegel, but which, in contradistinction to the socialistic one just discussed, might be termed a bourgeois school, even though some of its individual representatives hold political views closely allied to those of the socialists. This school did not accept the thorough revision that Marx undertook, and it still places society "on its head," i.e., on the intellect or spirit. The leading thought in Hegel's philosophy of history is well known to be the following: the absolute spirit, the world-spirit, thinks, and that which it thinks is simultaneously [p. 131] consummated. Moreover, it thinks logically-dialectically. The thesis is thought and it comes into being. But every position implies a counter-position, therefore the spirit thinks and consummates the antithesis. This also is insufficient for stability and the absolute spirit therefore thinks and consummates the synthesis in which the opposition between the thesis and antithesis is dissolved. That resultant synthesis represents a new thesis and so the endless process of dialectic and becoming goes on. The carriers of this dialectic process are the various peoples, in each of whom the universal spirit manifests itself as a folk-spirit of a particular stamp which remains singular in the sense that it never is and never can be repeated.
Thus Hegel arrived by means of a strictly logical rationalism - if his premises are once conceded - at that view of the peoples which forms the Romanticist element of his philosophy. Every people or every folk-spirit, since both are the same, is a cultural whole whose institutions, ideas and actions proceed from a single point, from its singular
folk-spirit. Its State, constitution, class articulation, property rights, art, religion and science could not be otherwise than they are any more than a fir tree could bear oak-leaves. For every folk is a grown organism with its particular entelechy and as such, in its way, is perfect. For "nature is wisdom without reflection and above it," and therefore "everything that is, is reasonable."
It is apparent that this doctrine must of necessity be very sympathetic to the ruling ideology of capitalistic society, nationalism, from which ultimately it derived. All great peoples are "chosen people" in their own estimation; not only the Jews, but also for instance the Italians, the French, the Russians and perhaps even to some extent the English. It will not be made a reproach to the Germans, then, if they also are subject to the current ideology, particularly so after the terrible blow sustained by their land and people, a blow from which they can only recover if they maintain and even exaggerate their self-esteem. And in point of fact, the Hegelian folk-spirit in all sorts of disguises plays a not unimportant role in German social philosophy. It would hardly be worthy of our science to refer here other than in a rather disdainful way to the promulgators of that racially biased philosophy of history which in the beginning of the century found in the Germanicised Englishman, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, a persuasive and corrupting representative, and precisely for this reason a dangerous and even ominous one for the German mentality and Governmental policy. Their present-day followers are either narrow-minded agitators who look in a mirror and faithfully believe they see the world of reality, or else they are simply paid minions of political parties. But there are also finer and more scientifically deserving believers in the folk-spirit. These are earnestly endeavouring to recognise and prove in all manifestations not only of their own national life that unity of style which [p. 132] they postulate without more ado; they are seeking also a comparable unity of mode and structure in the history of other contemporary peoples and cultural circles - the objective spirit, for instance, of the Orient, India, China, Ancient Greece, Islam, &c., &c. Passing mention might be made here of that now almost completely dispelled nine-days' wonder, Oswald Spengler, whose book, The Decline of Western Civilisation, was a sensation for a time. Leonard Nelson, in a book of his own called Spuk - Phantom - wrote a devastating criticism of Spengler's logical method or rather, attempt, at method.
Much abler and more thorough are the investigations of Max Scheler, at present Professor of Philosophy and Sociology in Frankfurt, who also started from this standpoint but is working ever closer to sociology in its proper sense. His is an adaptable and adjustable nature and it seems to me that his adjustments have not yet ended. His intellectual origin is that of a very old branch of European philosophy, the Scholastic-Thomistic theological doctrine of the Catholic Church, or in other words, Aristotelianism, as the middle ages understood it, with an admixture of Plato. But this was only his starting point; one after another he has added numerous elements of later social philosophy. In this connection it is interesting to find that he has taken over from Hegel the ideas of the various "folk-spirits" and their specific emanations. The objective spirit exists for him "from its very inception only in a concrete manifold of endlessly multifarious groups and cultures ... a common structure and model unity pervades only the ever-living cultural elements of a group, pervades religion, art, science and law. To single these out and comprehend them in the chief phases of their development for every group is one of the highest aims of historical investigation." (Contributions to a Sociology of Knowledge, 1924, p.13.)
The strongly Romanticist infusion is easily recognisable here and it is apparent, incidentally, how greatly this movement is dominated by the aforementioned sentiment of the "nation." A typical middle-class thinker, Scheler to-day takes a middle position between his lately-abandoned canonist-catholic standpoint and that of Marxism, whose fundamental thought he accepts, viz., the dependence of the ideologies: that, to quote him, "it is the being of humanity (but not only its economic, "material" being, as Marx quickly adds), in accordance with which all possible human 'consciousness,' 'knowledge,' and limits of understanding and experience are directed," (op. cit., p.6). Scheler, moreover, has taken two further steps toward sociology in its narrower sense. He has accepted the doctrine of the origin of the State through extra-economic force rather than through peaceful development. This "sociological idea of the State" we shall soon discuss more fully. And he has also, probably under the influence of MacDougall, attempted to build up a social-psychological theory [p. 133] of instincts as a base for his social philosophy. He assumes the "real factor" to have resulted from the "instincts," upon which the "ideal-factors" regularly depend, as the superstructure upon the foundation.
The limitations of this lecture forbid an exhaustive criticism of this doctrine. We can only point out that it is not entirely Hegelian, since for Hegel there was no division into real and ideal factors, both together constituting the Hegelian objective spirit, nor is it entirely materialistic interpretation of history, for according to Marx the identical "being" among all peoples would necessarily call for identical "consciousness," a correlated superstructure on a similar foundation. We have here, in my opinion, not a synthesis in which the contrasts are reconciled, but a syncretism which has not yet achieved full clarity. In order to rescue the singularity of every objective folk-spirit Scheler has to make a very dubious assertion. He denies that essential identity of all human nature, which almost all sociologists and social psychologists not only concede, but actually consider to be the fundamental assumption, the axiom, so to speak, without which sociology would be utterly impossible. Having once ventured this thesis, Scheler makes no attempt to prove it. He seems inclined to regard his assertions as apodeictical propositions in no need of further proof or demonstration, this being obviously a remnant of the scholastic philosophy which was fully assured of its fundamentals because they rested on biblical revelation. In principle, therefore, his conclusions must be considered as postulated. He assumes as certain and as requiring no demonstration, that every people or every cultural circle exhibits a structural or modal unity which is singular and non-repetitive, and his conclusions constitute a return to this presumed fact. If I may be permitted to give my opinion on this matter here, then I should be inclined to say that a final decision on this fundamental assertion, on this finer nationalism, cannot yet be given. Our knowledge of the various cultures and of the conditions in which and through which they developed is not yet sufficient for this. And that, it seems to me, is true not only of those civilisations which are exotic to the European, of ancient Egypt, the Orient, India, China, and the highly-developed American cultures of the Mayas and Incas, but also of the far better-known cultures of the ancient Hellenic peoples - that eternally-repeated example of this variety of historical interpretation. The generation before us might still regard this seemingly sudden appearance and tremendous growth of science and art in Greece as an incomprehensible marvel. They stood before it like the North European before the wonder of the Agave, which sends forth its candelabra-like panicle of flowers - only to die therefrom. But we, in the meantime, have come to know more of the remaining Mediterranean cultures. We have some slight idea of the science, and [p. 134] especially, of the art of Egypt at a time when the subsequent Hellenes were still nomad Vikings of the seas, or warrior herdsmen on the North European plains. We know, to go still further back, the magnificent rock paintings in the Spanish caves of Altamira, &c., and we begin to suspect that the sagas of a highly-developed civilisation in the far west, the fables of Atlantis, are possibly not quite without foundation. We know something, furthermore, of the high cultures of pre-Hellenic Crete and pre-Hellenic Etruria with their fabulous technic and accomplished artistry, although these naturally did not equal the freedom of their Greek counterparts. And even for this last, we find at least the beginnings of an explanation in the obvious circumstance that the Greeks were far less bound by an all-powerful State religion than their predecessors and therefore could take the last step from the traditional archaic ties to the full freedom of artistic accomplishment. And, finally, we also know something of the ultimate sociological cause of these differences; Egypt and most likely Etruria were irrigation States in which the priests were not only the "cult-technicians" as Max Weber calls them, but also the irrigation technicians, upon whose functions the very life of the society depended. It is thus easy to understand the overpowering authority of the priests in both places. The same thing holds true for the empires of Mesopotamia, while the development of Crete and Mycene was cut short rather early by the conquering Greeks: we cannot know whether their development without this ruinous disturbance would not have equalled that of their lucky heirs, the Greeks. We would not for a moment deny the singularly high cultural development of the short-lived Hellenic Harbour-City-States, for it may be said parenthetically, that inland in the West, in Sparta and Boeotia, and in the central and eastern areas, we find only primitive peasant cultures. But even to-day we are able to see that this development did not, in force and height, tower so infinitely high above the other cultures of its time and surroundings as was assumed by the earlier observers. In such observers, it may be added, there was still much of the enthusiasm of the Rinascimento and of Humanism for everything ancient. I might illustrate the point by saying that they saw the Hellenic civilisation as a cloud-capped volcano, piled high upon an othenwise dreary plain by mysterious subterranean powers, whereas we see in it only the highest peak in a whole mountain chain of civilisation.
It must be said also that this whole method of consideration seems particularly dangerous to us because the personal taste of every single observer plays an uncontrollable role under it. Vestigia terrent. We have seen too frequently how easy it is for dilettanti like Chamberlain or Spengler to choose from the complexity of historical facts and aspects all those which accord with their preconceived views and to interpret in any way they wished whatever might be conveniently [p. 135] twisted, while at the same time calmly ignoring the stubborn facts that did not fit. This makes it difficult for us to view with anything but extreme distrust any attempt to trace such a structural and modal unity in all the manifestations and institutions of an entire people during its whole existence. We know too well what an important role is played in the lives of all peoples by the mutual exchange, the acceptance and transformation, of cultural values, and how weighty that process is which Lester Ward so happily called the "Crossfertilisation of Cultures." And we are resolved to conduct our analysis of the sociological processes insofar as it is in any way possible, without departure from our fundamental axiom of the uniformity of human nature. Acceptance of the thesis of particular folk-spirits would indicate a portentous approach to those racial philosophers whose absurd pretensions have been denounced unanimously by all serious sociologists. We refuse to postulate an occult quality of specific attributes, peculiar to each case, until we have, as Ross says, squeezed the last drop of actual explanation from the facts.
There is a certain relation between this variety of folk-spirit philosophy and a further bent of German investigation of which Alfred Weber, brother and successor of Max Weber in Heidelberg, is to be named as the leader. His views are based upon a distinction which we can accept as fundamentally correct: a distinction between the process of civilisation and the movement of culture. The first relates to the evolution of an intellectual cosmos which manifests itself in an ever higher rationalisation of consciousness and in the development of practical science and its technical application. This process is immediately transferable from one people to another because human intelligence being everywhere basically the same, can take over alien rational stimuli and use them scientifically and technically. But the movement of culture is totally different. This movement "creates no cosmos of universally valid and necessary things; on the contrary, everything that appears here is and remains by its very nature enclosed in the historical body in which it arose and with which it is intimately related." There is no evolution here but only a "protuberance-like outburst of productivity here and there in an apparently inexplicable way, the outburst suddenly appearing as something extraordinary and new, singular and exclusive, as an incomparable creation which in its essence is in no necessary connection with anything else."
The resemblance to Scheler's views is apparent, and so far as the resemblance reaches, our methodological scruples apply here also. But the fundamental dichotomy in itself has some validity. It was first clearly outlined, as far as I am aware, by Hegel, who differentiated between the absolute and the objective values. Hegel's absolute [p. 136] values are defined as a relation of values between man and God, whereas the objective values are a relation of values between humans which is capable of ever further progress to an ever higher perfection. The absolute values are Religion, art and philosophy; the objective values, also called "progress values" by the German philosopher of history, Mehlis, are state, law and social economy. Hegel, in undertaking this differentiation, achieved a reconciliation between Kant and Herder. Kant continually had only the State with its appurtenances of economy, &c., in mind, in other words, the "objective or progressive values," whose completion to a fully-developed "State of Right or Justice" could only be attained in an infinitely long historical process of approximation. In this view all of history appeared as a sort of endless purgatory, as a preparation of humanity for an infinitely distant blessedness. This thoroughly dismal and pessimistic conception aroused the indignation of the pious-spirited Herder, who remarked justly that every gifted people is capable of accomplishments in art, religion and philosophy which are great and incomparable and perfect of their kind. Thus to Herder, history no longer appeared as an endless process, but rather in several important relations as a finite progression to humanity's supreme heights. Hegel, in giving equal consideration to the absolute and to the objective values, undertook a true synthesis of Kant and Herder which, apparently, has remained unknown to Alfred Weber - he asserts at any rate, that he had no predecessors. Hegel's synthesis, nevertheless, contains Weber's fundamental thought in its entirety.
For my own judgement, this distinction is of decisive significance. I am of the opinion that sociology, as a strictly casual science, will at least for the present be under the necessity of confining itself to the objective progress-values, to those of the State, theoretical and practical science, economics, &c. The absolute values, on the other hand - religion, art and philosophy - seem still to be withdrawn and possibly always will be withdrawn from strictly casual science. For in these the chief role is played by a phenomenon which rational science is totally unable to explain in its entirety, the suprasocial personality, particularly in those highest illustrative instances of the homo religiosus, the artist and the philosopher. Sociologists will relinquish this task to the historians who have to approach the phenomenon not in a coldly explanatory way, but rather with intuitive reverence and awe. Attempts at causal explanation will always leave inexplicable remainders here. Such remainders will be left whenever we are concerned with life and consciousness or the soul. The highest of these is the suprasocial personality, the "Genius." And here sociology in its narrower sense finds those bounds which, for the present anyway, are not to be passed. Such also, we take it, is Alfred Weber's opinion, for like ourself, he holds that the real subject matter [p. 137] of sociology is to be found in the process of civilisation, while at the same time he makes plain that sociological consideration of the cultural movement cannot accomplish more than the determination of types, cannot accomplish more, in other words, than a phenomenology of its surface appearances, without ever being able to sound its depths. Scheler regards these matters more hopefully. He has laid out a large programme for cultural sociology, with numerous theses of which he promises demonstration by philosophical means. We shall have to wait and see.
[p. 249] The contrast between the absolute and the objective values which Hegel emphasised can receive in psychology a better foundation and a deeper one than the metaphysician was able to supply. So far as I am aware, I was the first to call attention to the fact that there are two markedly different kinds of needs. A need is always the feeling or anticipation of the feeling of a disturbance in the balance of substance or energy of the organism. Such a disturbance can consist either of a superfluity or an insufficiency. Psychology heretofore has always considered only the insufficiencies out of which spring the desires for restoration of the balance by the acquisition of new energy. I call that the negative need. But quite as important are those disturbances which take their rise from a surplus of energy and which are therefore connected with the desires to get rid of this surplus. This is the positive need. To illustrate: the attendant of a locomotive places new coal in the firebox in order to meet the negative requirement; he opens the steam escape valve in order to meet the positive requirement. Physiologically speaking, the chief representative of the negative needs is hunger, of the positive needs, sexual desire. Out of the primary negative need were developed all those instincts which serve the self-preservation of the individual, while out of the primary positive need were developed all those instincts which serve the preservation of the species. The first-named in their totality form the realm of the struggle of life against want, and they include all institutions with which men attempt to combat want, the law, the State and positive science which, in the service of the struggle of life, attempts to control the elemental forces. The positive needs, on the other hand, have created the realm of abundance; the overflow gives rise not only to the play of children and the sports of adults, but also to art, to the genuine religious feeling of the mystic who, in fervent [p. 250] ecstasy, aspires to dissolve in God, and to philosophy, which endeavours to reconstruct the whole of the natural and of the intellectual worlds. It is apparent that from this point of view the differentiation between the process of civilisation and the movement of culture undertaken by Alfred Weber and furthered by Max Scheler rests upon a sharp logical division. And it is clear, furthermore, that there is a still better basis for our proposed limitation of sociology in its narrowest sense to the civilisational process, or as we put it, to the realm of the negative needs.
A close approach to this happy and promising differentiation was outlined by Ferdinand Toennies, the honoured Doyen of German sociology and President of the German Sociological Society. He holds the chair of Sociology in the University of Kiel. An early work of his, Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft, is very generally acknowledged to be a masterpiece. And only lately, as the fruit of long studies, he published his comprehensive Kritik der Öffentlichen Meinung - Critique of Popular Opinion. In brief indication of his position in the stream of thought, it may be said that he also is a descendant of the counter-revolution. He is to be placed, however, less among the true "Romanticists," whose extravagances and inadequate methodology he has known how to avoid, but rather among the followers of the great Peasant Partisan, Justus Möser, with all their scepticism regarding the one-sided city civilisation of the modern capitalistic period, and with all their repudiation of the mechanised and materialised, so-called capitalistic culture. His thoughts obviously were greatly influenced by Schopenhauer, who was similarly antagonistic to the revolution and the "Enlightenment." Schopenhauer's Copernican overturning of philosophy from intellectualism to voluntarism was accepted by Toennies. This orientation necessarily carried him towards socialism, and there are, in fact, some markedly Marxian elements to be noted in his works, elements which encouraged a certain pessimism in regard to the future of humanity. It seems to me not improbable that Spengler, for instance, might have received some incitement to his pessimistic doctrine of the decline of the Occident from Toennies' very widely-read book.
Toennies, like myself, conceives of the dualism of modern life as springing from a double psychological root. He differentiates between the "essential will," "which includes all thought," and the "conscious will," "which is contained in thought." The first is nearly identical with Schopenhauer's "will to live," which masters the material with incessant appetite in order to express itself in always higher forms, and which finally enlists thought, the intellect, in its service in order, as Schopenhauer drastically says, "to light itself a lantern." For this reason the intellect remains always the servant, [p. 251] and even the lackey of the will: a clear statement, this, of social-psychological determinism. This "essential will," according to Toennies, gave rise to the "Community," first as family and kindred, then as neighbourhood and, finally, as civil community: community, in other words, first of blood, then of place and at length of spirit. In the community peace, love and mutual aid prevail. The "conscious will," on the other hand, brought about "Society" as a mechanism designed to serve the purposes of the individual. The community is an organism, society an artefact. The first holds together through consensus, as does every true organism, the latter, on the other hand, through a multiplicity of contracts. On the basis of this fundamental differentiation, Toennies proceeds in a masterly analysis to reveal everywhere the dualism of our modern life. He points out, among other things, the contrast which occupies us here, the contrast between culture and civilisation. The former is communal, the latter associational.
A great many sociological studies in which Toennies' book was used as a basis have been conducted in Germany, particularly in recent years. This is easily understandable, for it furnishes a rallying cry to the mounting repugnance against the purely materialistic-mechanistic unculture of our capitalistic civilisation. This movement has gained notable momentum since the war showed all but the totally blind that a complete about-face is necessary if we are to avoid the precipice and prevent the catch phrase of the decline of western civilisation from becoming reality. Unfortunately, it appears from most of these studies that the significant differentiation of the master was used only as a convenient and high-sounding phrase.
Our own admiration is more deeply founded and is probably greater than that of the vociferous adherents. But this does not release us from the duty of a critical examination. It is our opinion, then, that Toennies saw the contrast in its proper light and even carried it back correctly to its roots in the human will. But we believe, further, that he did not get quite to the end of the matter, and the cause for this seems to lie in his rather "monistic" consideration of society in the ordinary, all-inclusive significance of the word. His views are not enriched by acceptance of the sociological idea of the State, concerning which we shall shortly speak more fully. It is sufficient to say here that this concept of the State has made it plain to us that we should not direct exclusive attention to the internal relations among the members of a society, as practically all sociology does to this very day, but should also very seriously consider the relations between the groups. To do so, however, means instant recognition of the fact that the developed group, the horde, tribe, &c., is a thoroughgoing "community" in Toennies' sense. Peace, mutual aid and the natural justice of equality prevail within these groups. Between them, however, [p. 252] there is, if not open hostility, then at least a condition of estrangement. The stranger has no rights, no duties are felt toward him, and his goods and his life may be taken if it may be done with impunity. To reduce it to our formula: the relations within the group are occasioned by the instincts of the preservation of the species; the relations between the groups are occasioned by the instincts of self-preservation. In the former a "we-interest" prevails, whereas in the latter there is only a naked "I-interest." The first is the realm of gladsome sharing, the other that of a dismal struggle against want.
All sociology, as we just said, has hitherto attempted to deduce the circumstances of our present society solely from the internal evolution of a primitive society in which equality and freedom prevailed. In a comprehensive historical analysis of relevant doctrines which forms the first chapter of my Sociology of the State, I have been able to show that this doctrine is traceable to ancient Greece, where it constituted the common point of departure for the otherwise antagonistic schools of the Stoics and Epicureans. It was then carried over, through the doctrine of "natural rights" into the philosophy of the middle ages and of modern times, transforming itself first into a juristic construction on the basis of which the immense struggles took place between the great historical powers of Popery and Caesarism, of the central power and the landed nobility and of the crown and the people. Since John Locke it has been raised to the rank of an historical axiom, and used in this way as a basis for the deduction and at the same time the vindication of the capitalistic State. Scientifically this deduction carries, since Adam Smith's day, the name of the "Law of Previous Accumulation." It maintains that the primitive society of free and equal members has witnessed a greater and greater differentiation merely by the influence of the natural differences in human endowments. The clever, industrious, sober and saving ones accumulated wealth, and out of these economic differences in wealth there developed gradually the social and political differences of rank, of the social order and of classes. This theory may certainly be said to be untenable. It can be disproved deductively, although we have not the time to demonstrate this here. The inductive demonstration from the facts of history is sufficient for its refutation. Wherever the origin of a state-society is known to us at all, there we know with full certainty that it originated through the subjection of one people by another and conquering people. It seems appropriate here to consult English history for an example. These Islands probably contained a primitive people of unknown language and race who were conquered by the Celts. The latter were subjected by the Saxons and Danes and these in turn by the Normans. In every case the conquering group set itself up as a nobility over the group which it had subdued. In other words, the social classes were formed everywhere not by slow [p. 253] differentiation occasioned by economic relations, but by a single stroke of power based on the political relations between barons and serfs, lords and vassals or slaves, those with full rights and those with lesser or no rights.
The first sociologist who used this idea of the State as the central point of his explanation was Ibn Khaldun, a high official of state who was born in Tunis in 1332, and eventually entered the service of the Mongol Khan, Tamerlane. In Europe, so far as we are aware, the idea first appeared in England, in the writings of Gerard Winstanley, leader of the "True Levellers" of Cromwell's day. These so-called "Diggers," as the first avowed agrarian socialists of Europe, made claim to the untilled fields of England on behalf of the needy people. Later, in the very similar period of political tension caused by the French Revolution, the idea was again made the cardinal point of an examination of the State by the French Count, Saint-Simon. From him and even more from his pupils, the Saint-Simonists, Enfantin and Bazard, the doctrine was taken over into German sociology. There it found an adherent in the conservative socialist Karl Rodbertus-Jagetzow, and, possibly through the mediation of Lorenz von Stein, was taken up by a man who worked it out with all his energy and who made it the central point of his sociological life-work. This man was Ludwig Gumplowicz, quondam Professor of Political Rights in Graz.
Like Ibn Khaldun, Gumplowicz seemed to be predestined by the situation of his group to recognise directly the fundamental historical relation which occasioned the State. The learned Mohammedan statesman saw that relation from above as a member of a conquering race of rulers. Gumplowicz saw it from beneath, being in a double sense a member of a subjected and economically exploited group. He was born a Jew in Austrian Poland, and he was a patriotic Pole, even partaking in an uprising in that country. Belonging as a Pole to a subjected people who were despoiled of their own State, and as a Jew to a group which still constitutes a characteristic Pariah group throughout the Slavic East, it was impossible for him to be misled by the "nursery tale," as Marx scornfully called the "Law of Previous Accumulation." Winstanley regarded himself as a defender of the Saxons against the Normans and after the death of the "Usurper" Charles I. on the scaffold, he demanded a return of the unjustly-seized land in the name of those who were pillaged. Saint-Simon, although by birth a scion of the ruling race (he was a direct descendant of Louis the Pious), was nevertheless impartial enough to recognise in the subjection of the Kelto-Romans by their Germanic conquerors the root of that order, or rather disorder, which collapsed in the Revolution. And in similar fashion Gumplowicz had to regard the relation of the dominant Germans of imperial Austria to his own Poland, partitioned and ruled by the three great Eastern Powers. It [p. 254] was only a second and logically necessary step for him to raise this observed relation to the plane of a general law: not only the Austrian State, but all States without exception arose through the same mechanism. The Estates of the Realm and after them the classes were everywhere formed by a single stroke through the utilisation of extra-economic force, and not developed slowly through economic differentiation. This was a thought that was bound to overturn all sociological science, for European sociology in all its departments - history, political science, jurisprudence, political economy, &c. - had considered the principle of economic differentiation as an axiom in no need of demonstration and had proceeded from this basic assertion. Gumplowicz himself performed much of this revolutionary labour for great portions of history, for the whole study of political rights and for substantial parts of the remaining doctrines of jurisprudence. It remained for me only to draw like consequences for theoretical economics. Among the scholars of the Graz Professor, of whom I am proud to count myself one, there must be mentioned the late Austrian lieutenant-general, Ratzenhofer, whom I have already described as completely dominated by the personal equation typical of the rancorous German-Austrian. A late follower of Epicurus, Ratzenhofer also held to the doctrine of "absolute hostility" between groups, a doctrine that in itself is already tremendously exaggerated, because in primitive societies we find countless peaceful contacts between tribes. Ratzenhofer carried this exaggeration still further by his absolute neglect of the intra-tribal relations of friendliness and mutual aid. Another scholar of Gumplowicz was the important American sociologist, Albion W. Small, Professor in Chicago, who also, unfortunately, died recently. Gumplowicz's basic idea, which in our opinion cannot be scientifically refuted, has constantly gained ground since the death of its propounder. Among the German social philosophers, Nelson accepted it fully, while Max Scheler tends lately to approach closer and closer to it.
This doctrine forms a leading article in the avowed principles of the Frankfurt school, which treats not only general sociology, but also political theory and economics. I am able to give here only an extremely brief outline of the economic theory which I have propounded. This substantially is as follows: the conquest and subjection of one people by another which occasions the State, also, and at the same time occasions what we call the "feudal area." This is characterised by two institutions, the politico-social institution of the differentiation of the classes, and the economic institution of the monopolisation of the soil by the nobility in the juristic form of huge demesne estates which were contiguous and filled the land; a monopolisation, in other words, which prevented access by the mass of the people to the natural means of production, the land.
[p. 255] Within this feudal area there gradually grows up the trade and industry of the towns and the Third Estate comes into being. But this development is everywhere checked and hindered by the feudal institutions against which the Third Estate at length is compelled to take up the cudgels. In the revolutions of 1649 in England, 1789 in France, 1848 in Germany, and 1905 in Russia, victory is achieved, and one of the two feudal institutions, the juristic differentiation of the orders and classes, is done away with. But the second one, the monopolisation of the land, remains. And therein lies the root of capitalism. If, in accordance with current usage, we are to understand under this term an order in which there is prevalent the sale of such goods as have been produced by exploited labour for a market which has advanced to a money economy, then all over the world, in the slave-economy of antiquity, as well as in modern Europe, agrarian capitalism is the beginning of that process which commercial-industrial capitalism has but slowly and hesitantly followed. This is valid also, for instance, for England, as Brodnitz lately showed beyond all doubt. And it holds equally true for the Continent. Georg Friedrich Knapp may be quoted in this connection. He names the great manorial agricultural estates (Rittergutsbetriebe) eastward of the Elbe as the first capitalistic undertakings of modern times. We considered previously what a revolution it signified for Europe when the Knights, the feudal warriors, were transformed into holders of demesne estates and therefore into modern agrarian capitalists.
Under these circumstances it was inevitable that the industry of the towns must also take on the character of capitalism. When the agricultural labourers received their legal freedom they found themselves nevertheless still legally excluded from their natural instrument of production, the land. They were faced by a monopoly and, like every contractor to a monopolist, they had to sell their product, their labour, for a price that was less than its actual value. Basically, therefore, the large landed proprietors still retained their old feudal rents. The pressure, on the agricultural proletariat was so great that they migrated in huge numbers to the thriving towns. But here also, since they were possessed of no instruments of production, their relationship to the "capitalists" who did own the tools of production, was that of "one-sided urgency of the need of exchange," and this on a market which was already over-supplied with their product, labour, on account of the tremendous migration. In consequence, they had to be content with a wage that barely attained the minimum existence level, with the same wage that was still being paid to the labourers who had remained on the land, all in accordance with the old proposition that in the long run like prices will be paid for similar products on the same market. This is the simple derivation of capitalistic exploitation. The latest developments in American [p. 256] labour relations gives thorough confirmation to these statements. Since the time that severe restrictions were applied by the United States to the waves of immigration from Europe, from the time, in other words, that the States withdrew themselves somewhat from the influence of the "feudal area" which still persists in Europe, wages there have risen to an extent that neither the bourgeois nor the Marxian system can even begin to explain. It was possible for me, on the contrary, to predict precisely this development as long ago as the year 1906.  The world economy is an immense unity; wherever and whenever it is poisoned by force and forcefully acquired possessions, from that centre the infection spreads over mountains and oceans and contaminates even the most distant peoples. We make the assertion that the United States, under the Constitution as it was worked out by William Penn and by Jefferson, Franklin and Washington, would truly have become the fortunate land of happiness and justice, if the immigration from the feudal lands of Europe had not supplied such enormous masses of exploitable labour. It is immediately apparent that the economy of free commerce and industry can develop in a feudal area only in a lame and halting way. We commit ourselves once again, in other words, to that happy belief in the "cunning of reason" which will lead the peoples, precisely by means of free competition to the "Harmony of all Interests." And we are convinced that this "glad tidings" will soon find adherents everywhere, displacing the sociological pessimism which to-day corrupts our existence as Relativism in the realm of morality and as Imperialism in the realm of society.
Further particulars of our Frankfurt school have already been mentioned in the course of these discourses. Ours is a sociology solely of civilisation, and neither of culture, which we leave to the historians, nor still less of social philosophy, which we leave to the philosophers. This, however, does not stand in the way of our continued efforts to base our science, methodologically and philosophically, upon firm foundations. Concerning methodology sufficient has been said. Philosophically speaking, I acknowledge myself personally an adherent of practical philosophy; in jurisprudence and in ethics, therefore, I lean decidedly to Kant and to the extension of his ideas by Nelson.
We have endeavoured, further, to supply a firm social-psychological base for our sociology. Something of this has already been mentioned. We believe we have rearranged and in certain respects extended that foundation of all possible sociology, the doctrine of instincts.
One other point is to be emphasised here, since it forms the subject matter of the one great scholastic debate which is at present being [p. 257] conducted in Germany. This debate is going on between the Frankfurt school, of which I am the leader, and the Cologne school, led by Leopold von Wiese. We regard social institutions decidedly as objectivities and we approach in this way the viewpoint of Durkheim, who contended that they should be regarded as "faits sociaux." Thus we get a sharp borderline which divides Sociology in its actual and narrowest sense from social psychology which, in our opinion, lies on the outer confines of our science.
Our forerunners attempted unsuccessfully to make this differentiation, as the great dispute between the objectivist, Durkheim, and the social-psychologist, Tarde, shows. But, to-day, we can undertake it with full assurance and for this we have to thank the methodological inquiries of the school led by Rickert, who showed that the same "object of perception" may furnish various objects of cognition to different sciences. An "object of perception," that is to say, a piece of reality, contains countless characteristics which, in their totality, cannot be dealt with scientifically. Each science therefore chooses from this infinite aggregation those characteristics which concern it, and forms therefrom its own particular objects of cognition, abstracting from all others. Edmund Husserl then showed further that this is not to be construed as a matter of arbitrary choice, but on the contrary as one of given objective correlations. A piece of iron, for instance, is considered by the chemist first in its concatenation with all metals and then in its reciprocal relations with all substances generally. The physicist considers that piece of iron in its concatenations with all other carriers and guiders of energies, the technologist in its concatenation with all other building material, &c.
So also may social psychology and sociology in its narrower sense be said to have the same "object of perception" for their field. This was called by Dilthey, "the societal-historical reality." Both sciences deal with norms and imperatives, with State and society, justice and ethics, dominion and co-operation, culture and civilisation, &c. Social psychology considers these objects of perception in connection with their spiritual root in the individual, considers them as "subjective" contents of consciousness which seek realisation in action. Sociology proper, however, considers them as objective structures and functions of the living unity, "Society." Or, in other words, the social psychologist considers introspectively the relations of men to each other, in order to "understand" them sympathetically; the sociologist, however, considers them from the outside as he had no part in them, considers them quite as an external presentation of facts to the senses.
It seems as though possibility, even the inevitability of this mode of consideration cannot well be denied. To take only a single [p. 258] instance, it is certain that a person can come to grief on a legal principle that he does not know and cannot even understand, quite as well as a ship can on a rock. Nevertheless, the Cologne school hesitates to accompany us on this step toward the ultimate goal.
This tendency may be traced back to Georg Simmel. In his first sociological period, Simmel took the following standpoint: sociology, as its name signifies, is a science of society. But all possible contents of social life are already claimed by old established sciences, by history, jurisprudence, political science, political economy, philology, &c., &c. For a separate science there remains then, only the study of the form of society. Accordingly, this must necessarily be a science analogous, let us say, to grammar and logic, which also deal not with the contents but solely with the forms of language and thought. But these views were completely discarded by Simmel in his last period. Like ourself, he separated general sociology sharply from social philosophy, and he tried to mark out a third study which he called "pure sociology." The last category was to include the research into the forms of society. This change was occasioned by the influence of the methodological investigations of Rickert.
The ground abandoned by Simmel has been held fast, meanwhile, by two other German thinkers. The first of these is the Berlin Professor, Alfred Vierkandt, who began his sociological studies in the field of ethnography, where he did excellent work. The second follower of Simmel and the most active defender of the viewpoint which he relinquished is Leopold von Wiese und Kaiserswaldau, of Cologne. He desires to limit sociology to his so-called " Doctrine of Relations" - " Beziehungslehre."
As against this we hold that this small outer area of social psychology belongs really to the outer confines of sociology in its wider sense. We concede readily that it is worth while to cultivate this field, but we maintain that it is not permissible to describe it as the whole of sociology. This is already to be ruled out on scientific-historical grounds. Sociology since Comte is a well characterised science with a definite class of problems. The problem of the science has consistently been considered to consist chiefly in the investigation of the origin and development, the present position and the developmental tendency, of the great human frame-groups, from the horde upward to the State. This with the clear aim which Comte himself set, "savoir pour prévoir, prévoir pour prévenir"; with the definite problem, that is to say, of scientifically fathoming the social process as a whole, so that the mighty elemental forces which find play in this process can be bent to the service of humanity rather than allowed to work themselves out to mankind's harm in cataclysms such as the last and mightiest one of the world war. Sociology, in other words, is [p. 259] also faced with the problem of society in its narrower sense of the "social question"; or to use another Comtian expression, it has to determine in what way "progress and order" can be joined. It follows that sociology must pursue history, political science, jurisprudence and economics, and it differs from the various sciences that delve into these matters solely because it systematically and methodically combines them with each other - team-work, the Americans call it - in order to solve those problems for which the single separate sciences are insufficient, and of which the solution can be found only if they co-operate with each other. And in this connection it is immaterial if the work of combination is undertaken by single individuals who have mastered a number of sciences or by the common activities of various enquirers. Only in this sense is our pursuit of sociology "encyclopaedic," as the Cologne school scoffingly puts it. And it is certainly not encyclopaedic in the sense of being a "collective medley of sciences," a fricassee of hashed up and ill-assorted single disciplines, as a despiser of sociology as a whole, the late economic historian, Georg von Below, called it.
We are of the opinion, in other words, that sociology has its own object of cognition, which it is preparing for itself by its consideration of the combined single disciplines as its object of perception, selecting from those sciences only such characteristics as relate to the whole of social life and not to the single phenomena of social life - methodologically abstracting, meanwhile, from all other characteristics. It proceeds, to use a neologism of the latest logic of science (Paul Oppenheim) not toward "concretisation," but toward "typification." Comte meant approximately the same thing when he said that sociology should pursue the "study of generalities." In this sense the relation of sociology to the separate social sciences is similar to that of biology to the separate sciences of individual life. The latter furnish biology with exact data and they receive from biology in turn the general laws governing all life, whether in low forms or high, plant or animal. To express it finally in a third manner, sociology no longer aims at description but only theory.
Concerning the accomplishments of the Cologne school and its confederates - there is not complete unanimity among them - it may be said that Alfred Vierkandt's book is basically similar both in its methodology and in its contents to other good text-books on general sociology, although the psychological content, being more prominent than in many another, reflects the point of departure or preliminary studies of the author. Regarding Leopold von Wiese it is too early to render an opinion. Of his work on General Sociology, we have as yet only the first part, the "Doctrine of Relations." This contains hardly more than a programme and a catalogue of the German words in which the relations between individuals and [p. 260] between groups are expressed, relations of repulsion, of attraction and of neutrality. To this the author added a commentary in which many exceedingly able and pertinent sociological remarks are made, although the method by which the various judgements are arrived at does not become clear therefrom. We fear that the personal equation of the author not infrequently influenced the decision. The second part of this work, according to the announcements, will carry the title of the "Doctrine of Structures" - "Gebildelehre." Only when this is before us  will we know whether the author was able to remain completely faithful to his programme of treating social institutions solely from within, while disregarding altogether any treatment of such institutions as given, effective objectivities external to subjective relations. Only then will we be able to determine whether this approach is capable of furnishing results of significance for the great problems of the science.
This brings me to the end of my exposition. I have attempted to delineate only the greater movements, and have mentioned only those individual sociologists who can be regarded as representative leaders. I have had to deny myself any attempt to name singly the innumerable diligent and able investigators who are devoting themselves either to general sociology, where they happen to be less in the limelight, or to the several social disciplines or to philosophy in general. Among the latter are the historians and jurists, the economists and ethnologists, social psychologists and educationists, &c., &c., who only on occasion engage in disputes that touch the field of our science. It would be incorrect to single out a few, the others would quite properly object to being slighted. We can only say that here also a veritable army is working onward into the unknown, shoulder to shoulder, in order, as Nietzsche said, to conquer the land of our children.
- Advanced Lectures of the University of London delivered at the London School of Economics on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd May, 1928; edited by Prof. Morris Ginsberg.
- Soziologie und Geschichte in Soziologische Streifzüge, München, 1927. This treatise appeared in English in The Social Sciences and their Interrelations, edited by Ogburn and Goldenweiser.
- Principielles zur Kultursoziologie, Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft, Vol. 47, No. 1.
- "Was uns die russische Agrarreform bedeutet" (Patria, Jahrbuch der Hilfe, 1906; reprinted in my Wege zur Gemeinschaft, München 1924, pp. 181-2).
- This volume has since been published: Allgemeine Soziologie, Teil II.: Duncker & Humblot, Munich and Leipzig, 1929.