The Three Basic Connections and Their Rules of Social Conduct.



A more detailed elaboration of the basic social conditions causes some repetitions from the first chapter to appear unavoidable. They are, I hope, excusable, particularly when they emphasize salient points. (23)

Unition has been characterized as the real "We," as "belonging together;" its meaning is: To be bound by emotional ties, by "consciousness of kind," not only by shared interests.(23)

The sources of unition - not to be confused with fully developed social relations of this type - lie far beyond humanity in the biology and instincts of animals. There is much of it in the family life of birds and mammals, in the herd and pack. Some couples form a longlasting unity. There is care for the offspring, which is defended with force and cunning. Strong males guard their females and young fighting for them against attacks by beasts of prey. Leadership is recognized. Fights occur, but behavior towards group members differs from that accorded to strangers or to other species. In higher and domesticated animals the similarity to human conditions becomes closer. A faithful dog is an arch example of loyal devotion, of willing submission. (23)

The human child requires protection for a long time. Man is a gregarious animal. He cannot exist without unition, from the primitive family and the horde up the scale. These are "life communities." The whole of their existence is shared, the members remain in close personal and local contact. The circle widens. The patriarchal family may grow into a tribe without losing its narrow cohesion. The people of a small hamlet or village are, as a rule, more closely united than those in a town, these again are closer than those in great cities, notwithstanding that hate and personal feuds can occur in the smallest circles. A neighborhood in a poorer district of a metropolis may form (at least for the women) an intimate group which shares both good and bad days. (23, 24)

A second type is characterized by close individual ties of more or less lasting character, as in love, friendship or following. This may change into the life community of marriage or end in estrangement, but all these bonds are strong while they last. Young friends share their mental development, ideas, feelings, adventures, pleasures and disillusions. (24)

In other circles, still those of a restricted nature, the group stands in the foreground. A small religious sect is often closely knit, not only in faith but in life and feelings. Membership provides intimacy. Common memories, particularly of early days, bind firmly. This is the reason for the later cohesion of a fraternity. (24)

Even stronger ties are formed when people are forced into a temporary life community by impressive, unusual or dangerous conditions. The crew of an airship or submarine, an infantry platoon can be welded into a comradeship where each will stand by the other till death. (24)

To proceed from these small circles to one of the largest: A State is a very complicated structure, by far not solely a unition, though love for one's nation - patriotism - is a feeling of unition. This is either rooted in a clear consciousness of kind or in an analogous deep, but silent, instinctive feeling that becomes manifest when stimulated. Some people may not often think of their nationality but their emotions rise to heights of devotion or pride, to gladness or anger when the occasion demands - when the nation is in danger or victorious, when it rejoices or mourns, flourishes or is depressed; often after the customary environment has been left, its value is better realized. This is well expressed in some verses of the Swiss national anthem by the poet Gottfried Keller: "When I, poor but glad, roamed foreign land measured splendor of kings with the mountain heights how was the beggar proud of Thee . . . Deep grief turned quickly into joy - when he met one of Thy sonsl" Patriotism is often overlaid by personal interests or political bickering; often forgotten, almost never extinguished. The inner cohesion for a nation depends on the degree in which she is a union. (24, 25)

In opposition to such lasting institutions stand fleeting expressions of unition feeling. They may be pure instances of this category, unmixed because they are so short. A passage of love may be fervent, sympathy and help bestowed on strangers in distress be spontaneous and warm; mass emotions strong under the influence of a passionate speech or an impressive happening. (25)

Unition also has its limits. Lovers pout and friends quarrel. A glance at the reality of life makes it clear that individuality does not dissolve or disappear in such relations. Unition cannot be more than the prevailing element in any lasting structure. There is a permanent struggle between unition and personal interests, to which must be added the many contending demands arising from other social relations, internal or external. Thus unition is never the only social bond, never continuously present in mind: But it suffices if it is present and predominating when need for it arises, no matter how often it may be infringed. A quarrel does not harm a genuine family or an altercation part a pair of lovers. They are still "discordantly united" (Werfel). The analogies in political life and elsewhere are obvious. The chief thing is the fundamental bond, the background of solidarity and what remains and arises therefrom. (25)

It has already been pointed out that the external, the power relations within unition may vary extremely between loose, free groups and complete submission. The elaboration of this point must await the analysis of power

relations. (25, 26)

The bond of "community" is a double one. It extends from the member to the group, the whole, and from this back to the single member. "Each for all, and all for each" - this is the tenet as far as unition is operative. The noblest virtues of man: Love, devotion and surrender of self are brought to the fore. The second connection is between the members themselves. In a community of two or very few both ties are identical. Such nearness leads to intimacy and immediacy. These characteristics decrease in strength when the circle widens but are never entirely lost, as shown by daily experience. A compatriot, a member of the same Church or any unition is always otherwise than if he were a stranger. (26)

Man is a gregarious but also selfish creature. Egotism and self-preservation are deeply rooted as necessities for survival. How can it be that such opposite attitudes as selfishness and devotion combine so easily in the same individual, that devotion can be victorious to the point of a willing sacrifice of life? They are in truth, not so strictly opposed as at first appears. One can say that the We in unition is an expansion rather than an abridgment of the I. One could call the We a superego were not this expression preempted with a different meaning by psychoanalysis. The individual feels and proceeds from this larger I during highstrung activities in the service of unition, he becomes part of a group, of a whole. This is no less an expression of human personality than selfishness. It explains mother-love and father's care, the innumerable kind and unselfish actions, all the sacrifices brought in the routine of all relations of unition, the devotion to a master, or deeds similar to that of Winkelried, the legendary Swiss hero who seized a bundle of spears, concentrating their points against his breast to break the hostile front. One has not far to seek for analogous deeds in the history of our wars. The single unit forgets itself for and in the whole. It must not be a deliberate action, no pondering over duties must of necessity precede. (26)

Unition demands limitation of self-interest and often sacrifice, but it gives no less than it takes. Each member receives boons from his membership. There is no cold calculation and balancing in their distribution. The alluring - and deceiving - slogan of communism: "From each according to his capabilities, to each according to his needs," becomes a reality in some relations of unition as far as these are close and active, but no more and not as a general rule. The preference for the young and weak in a family, true personal charity or public care for the needy, sick or aged are obvious instances of trends in this direction. The central teachings of Christ put the ideal of universal unition before mankind; the realities of life in the Christian world demonstrate the practical limitations. (27)

A second point of view is no less important. Unition affords the necessary emotional contacts, releases and delivers man from his loneliness and isolation, fulfills his strongest instincts. So is the individual enriched, although nothing but unition would only dwarf it, mar its personality. (27)

The nucleus of unition is the We. The degree of solidarity determines attitude and actions. The realm of unition exists everywhere when "something common is strongly felt and emphasized in contrast to that which separates" (Pieper). The check on personal interests, even such as are justifiable, is characteristic behavior in this relation. (27)

The social rules of play in relations of unition (community) have been summarized by Pieper, (abbreviated): Emphasis on that which is common, renunciation of some forms of self-assertion and self-interest. Self-surrender, love; immediacy and nearness in close human contacts; intimacy, unreservedness. (27)

After the foregoing descriptions this makes very convincing reading. These observations are also called "immanent rules and norms of behavior" in unition. Rightly so? (27)

The core of unition is solidarity. It is obvious that devotion to the whole ensues from this attitude and that in smaller circles this implies love and intimacy. All these names signify different aspects of the same conception. They belong together. The term "rules" and "norms," however, demands justification. (28)

The main problem for this justification - insuffiiciently discussed by Pieper - is the question how norms can evolve from social relations. Generally one can state that facts, also social facts, do not lead to rules of obligatory character, but only to regularities. Rules and norms are either deduced from other superordinated rules (for example, obedience to a certain unwelcome law follows the general principle of lawfulness), or rules serve as means to an end (for instance, discipline is necessary to further a complicated plan with division of labor). No such superordinated recognized rules exist in sociology. As to the means and ends of some unitions, one cannot say what their purpose is; they are merely in existence. The solution of the difficulties lies in the double nature of the basic relations of inner attitude. On the one hand, they are simple facts which one meets in reality; on the other, they are founded on evaluations and form their realization. Norms or ideals are contained in the relations as essential parts of their content. Unition is grounded on solidarity, which, when active, means devotion in ideal and in fact. The unition is destroyed if this is lacking. The bond can just as well be defined by devotion and solidarity as by the fact of common feeling - belonging together. A certain conduct, a social norm is immediately given; it is inherent and immanent. (28)

If one desires to keep to the scheme of ends and means, this detour is permissible. Every one of the basic connections is affirmed; it presupposes willing participation. If action is demanded, it either corresponds to the basic evaluation or it does not. If not, the connection ceases to exist - at least in this instance. In the other case the continuation of the connection is desirable; the behavior according to the rule realizes this aim. It constitutes a means to an end is obligatory. The analogous argumentation will apply to the social rules of conduct in reciprocity relations and work-association. (See below.) (28, 29)

The category of unition is therewith established as being more than an enumeration and description of similarities in different human contacts. It is - with all its variations of extension and degree - a qualitative unity, doubly secured by the inner attitudes of the participants and by immanent norms. (29)

Unition is certainly a primitive and indispensable bond between human beings, perhaps the strongest and, in some manifestations, the most exalted form of connection. It is understandable that the ideal has often been proclaimed one-sidedly, to the exclusion or at least to the depreciation of other social cohesions. (29)

Realism and prudence, however, warn against such exaggeration and demonstrate its limitations. It is wrong to assume that the social life of any group proceeds permanently and exclusively under the rules of unition. If a family were to live only for itself, the results would be narrowness of mind and feelings, with dwarfing of personality. There is also not much individual happiness in such a life, tyranny being usually exercised by the leading member. It can be avowed that complete self-surrender and sacrifice in saintliness or heroism is the highest achievement of a human personality, but such a personality does not develop in narrowness or by suppression of all drives and instincts other than those directed to its group. Clannishness is not praiseworthy. (29)

The nearest anthropological approach to community life is perhaps to be found with the peaceful Eskimos; even they have their quarrels, although these are usually not settled by blows but by making the adversary a public object of derision. (29)

It is wrong to see the ultimate aim of social life in unition and to regret that it can never be fully realized. Every attempt to build the life of a nation, sect or settlement totally on unition is bound to fail. Such groups are forced to regard all strangers as intruders and enemies, to construct a Chinese wall around themselves, or to become aggressive. Within the unit itself depreciation of individuality destroys independence and freedom. Every deviation is forbidden, becoming a form of heresy. All sound opposition is stifled, hypocrisy and slavish submission demanded. It takes nothing away from the high ideals of unition when one knows their limitations. This category, insolubly bound to exclusion, demands the supplement of other types of social connections; even some antagonistic attitudes have their sphere of usefulness. (29, 30)

The Emotional Mass, the Crowd

A peculiar type will be dealt with as an appendix to unition. Crowd or mass is a word of many meanings. It may signify the crowd, the number; masses mean the bulk of a people, of a group, or in a deprecatory sense, its lower ranks, the mob. Neither of these meanings applies to the sociological concept of the emotionally driven mass. (30)