The Sociology of Conflict: II[1]

Georg Simmel

OUR discussion thus far has found evidence among the parties in conflict of many kinds of unification; minglings of antithesis and synthesis; the erection of the one above the other; reciprocal limitations as well as promotions. Parallel with this is to be found the further sociological significance of struggle; namely, the influence which it exercises, not upon the relation of the parties to each other, but rather upon the inner structure of each party. Daily experience shows how easily a conflict between two individuals changes the individual himself. Entirely apart from its distorting or purifying, weakening or strengthening, consequences for the individual, the change occurs through the preliminary conditions which struggle imposes. There must be inner alterations and adaptations demanded by the exigencies of conflict. The German language affords a peculiarly apposite and simple formula for these immanent alterations. The champion must "pull himself together;"[2] that is, all his energies must be concentrated upon a single point at once, in order that at any moment they may be exerted in the direction demanded. In peace he may allow himself more latitude;[3] that is, he may indulge the individual energy and interests of his nature which may take courses in various directions and somewhat independently of each other. In times of attack and defense, however, the consequence of this indulgence would be a waste of energy through counter efforts of the different impulses, and a loss of time through the necessity of assembling and organizing them in each instance. In such cases, therefore, the whole man must assume the form of concentration as his essential line of battle and means of defense. Conduct formally the same is demanded

( 673) in the like situation of the group. This necessity of centralization, of energetic mobilization of all the elements, which alone guarantees their utilization for all possible demands without dissipation of strength and time, is a necessity so matter-of-course in a case of conflict that, as a whole, it calls for no discussion. The familiar reaction between despotic constitution and martial tendencies in a group rests upon this formal ground; war demands the centralized energizing of the group-form, which despotism most easily guarantees. And on the other hand, if this has once taken place, the energies thus bound together and consolidated with each other strive very easily for the most natural discharge—for a foreign war. An illustration of this correlation may be cited from its opposite, on account of its characteristic precision. The Eskimos of Greenland are one of the anarchistic peoples ; no sort of chieftainship exists among them. In fishing they are inclined, to be sure, to follow to some extent the most experienced man, but he possesses no sort of authority, and against one who separates himself from the community undertaking there is no means of constraint. Now, it is said of these people that the only way in which quarrels are fought out among them is by a singing duel. If one of them believes himself to have been injured by another, he composes some satirical verses and produces them in a popular gathering drawn together solely for this purpose. Thereupon the opponent answers in similar fashion. Accordingly, the absolute absence of all warlike instinct and the equally absolute absence of all political centralization correspond with each other. Among the organizations of the aggregate group, therefore, that of the army is always the most centralized, with perhaps the single exception of the fire guard, which encounters necessities absolutely the same in form. In such organization, through the unlimited command of the central authority, every independent movement of the elements is excluded, and therefore the impulse which proceeds from this source of command realizes itself without any dynamic loss in the movement of the whole. That which characterizes a federated state as Such is its unity as a war-making power. In all other particulars each state may retain its independence; in its military system this is impossible,

(674) if a federated relationship is to exist at all. The perfectly federated state has, therefore, been described as the one which in its relation to other states—essentially in its military relation—constitutes an absolute unity, while its members in their relationship to each other possess complete independence.

In view of the incomparable utility of a unified organization for the purpose of war, it would be supposed that each party would have the utmost interest in the absence of that unity in the opposing party. Yet there are certain cases of the opposite. The form of the centralization into which the military situation forces the party grows beyond the party itself, and gives to this party occasion to prefer that the opponent should present himself in this form. In the struggles of recent decades between laborers and employers this has been most unmistakably the case. The Royal Labor Commission in England reached the conclusion, in 1894, that firm organization of laborers was favorable for the employers in an industry, and in like manner organization of employers for the laborers. This is for the reason that, although outbreaking struggle might reach large extension and duration, yet this is nevertheless for both parties more advantageous and more economical than many local quarrels, losses of labor, and petty conflicts which, in the absence of a firm organization for the parties, never ceased. This is parallel with a war between modern states, however destructive and expensive it may be. It still presents a more favorable balance than the incessant petty struggles and frictions in periods in which the governments were weaker and less centralized. In Germany also the laborers have recognized that a close and effective organization of the employers, precisely for the purpose of fighting out conflicts of interest, is entirely to the advantage of the laborers themselves ; for only an organization of that sort can furnish representatives with whom one can treat with full security. Only in dealings with such an organization are the workmen in the given case sure that the result reached will not be at once jeopardized by the independent operators. The disadvantage which a party suffers through the unified organization of its opponent—because this organization is an advantage for

(675) the opponent—is in the foregoing cases far outweighed by the fact that under such constitution of both parties the struggle itself may be one that is concentrated, entirely within the field of vision, and capable of being brought to a conclusion that can assure a permanent and general peace. On the other hand, when one opposes a diffused crowd of enemies, one may oftener gain isolated victories, but it is very hard to arrive at decisive results which definitely fix the relationships of the contestants. This case is so profoundly instructive with reference to the fundamental interdependence between the unitary form and the aggressive action of the group, because it exhibits the utility of this interdependence, to the extent that it triumphs even over the immediate disadvantage in opposing a given enemy. The case exhibits that centripetalism as the objectively ideal form of aggressive constitution which in the surest and shortest way brings the essential issues of struggle face to face. This teleology extends alike over the parties and allows each individual party, finally, to find its advantage in it. It realizes the apparent paradox of enabling each opponent to see the advantage of his enemy as his own advantage.

For the sociological significance of the formation there is an essential difference whether the group as a whole enters into an antagonistic relationship to an external group, and, as a consequence, that concentration of its parts and increase of its unity of which we have been speaking occurs in consciousness and in action; or whether each element of a numerous body has an enemy for itself, and because this enemy is the same for all, a coalition of all ensues on that account—whether the individuals had previously been entirely independent of each other, or whether now at least new formations come into existence between them. The first case demands this further specification, that the quarrel or war of a group, on the one hand, may disregard many sorts of incidental discrepancies and individual enmities, and, on the other hand, may bring the relationships within the group very frequently to a clearness and definiteness otherwise never to be reached. This will be especially observed in groups of moderate size, and those which may not yet have attained objec-

(676) -tive existence, in contrast perhaps with a modern state. When a political party which unites many sorts of interests finds itself forced into a very definite and one-sided antagonism, this becomes at once an opportunity for secession. At such moments the only alternatives are, either to forget the inner antitheses, or by exclusion of certain members to bring the interests involved to sharper expression. If a family contain individuals of strong but latent dissimilarity, the moment in which a danger or an attack demands of it the most possible coherence will be precisely the moment which assures its unity for a long time or which destroys it forever. Such a crisis will decide with precision how far a co-operation of such personalities is possible. If a school class has on hand a trick on the teacher or a fight with another class, this usually, to be sure, brings, on the one side, all sorts of enmities to silence; on the other side, however, it stimulates certain pupils to separate themselves from the rest, not merely from motives material to the question, but because they are not willing to be led by the same string with this or that other pupil with whom, in other respects, they co-operate without further thought in the class structure, but with whom they are unwilling to be drawn into closer union for such decided attacks. In short, the state of peace within the group permits antagonistic elements to live side by side in a somewhat undecided situation, because each may go his own way and may avoid collisions. The state of conflict, however, draws the elements so closely together, and subjects them to such a unified impulse, that they either tolerate each other with perfect reciprocity, or they must completely repel each other. On this account foreign war, in the case of a state split by internal antitheses, is often the ultimate means of overcoming the same. It also happens that the foreign war may, however, give occasion for fatal developments of these antipathies.

Hence groups which find themselves in any sort of war are not tolerant. They cannot endure individual departures from the unity of the correlating principle beyond a certain definitely limited latitude. The technique for this purpose is sometimes an apparent tolerance, exercised, however, in order the more surely

( 677) to exclude the elements which cannot be definitively brought into the general order. The Catholic church, for instance, has from the beginning of its power found itself in a dual warfare. On the one hand, it has been opposed to the whole complex of involved philosophical opinions which together have constituted heresy; on the other hand, it has encountered the actual life-interests and powers holding parallel competence and demanding some sort of dominion independent of the church. The compact unity of form which under these circumstances the church needed has been secured in this way: dissenters have been treated so long as possible as though belonging within the church. From the moment, however, that this was no longer possible, they have been thrust out of the church with an incomparable energy. For a structure of this sort a certain elasticity of its outward form is extremely important ; not in order to facilitate transition and accommodation with the antagonistic powers, but rather, precisely for the sake of opposing them with the utmost vigor without sacrificing any still available elements. The elasticity is not in stretching out beyond the proper boundary. The latter, rather, circumscribes in this case the elastic body quite as unequivocally as it can bound a rigid one. This roominess characterizes, for example, the monastic orders through which the mystical or fanatical impulses that emerge in all religions in this case have expressed themselves in a way that has been harmless to the church and quite subordinate to it. On the contrary, in Protestantism, with its sometimes more intense dogmatic intolerance, the same factors have led to schism and disintegration. Sociological attitudes which specifically concern women seem to run back to the same motive. Among the highly manifold elements out of which the aggregate relationships between men and women are formed there occurs also a typical enmity springing from the two sources, first, that the women as the physically weaker are always in danger of economic and personal exploitation,[4] and, sec-

(678) -ond, that women, as the objects of sensuous desire on the part of men, must hold themselves on the defensive. While this immanent and personal struggle, by which the history of the human race is filled, seldom comes to an immediate co-operation of women against men, yet there is a super-personal form which serves as a protection against both danger, and in which, consequently, the female sex is, so to speak, in corpore interested: morality (die Sitte). The strong personality is able to protect itself against encroachments, or at most requires the protection of the law. The weak, on the other hand, would be lost in spite of this support if the individuals who were superior in strength did not for some reason forego the exercise of this superiority. This occurs in part through morality. Since, however, this has no other executive than the conscience of the individual, it works insecurely enough and requires the reinforcement of the moral code. The latter has not, to be sure, the precision and sanction of the legal norm, yet it has a certain guarantee of observance through instinctive shame, and through many perceptibly disagreeable consequences of transgression. The moral code is then the proper protection of the weak, who would go to the wall so soon as the struggle of individuals should break out unchecked by any restraint upon force. The character of this agency is consequently in essence that of prohibition, of restriction. It brings about a certain equality between the weak and the strong. It goes so far in its restraint of the purely natural relation between the two that it may even give the advantage to the weak, as, for example, chivalry shows. That in the insinuating encounter between men and women the former are the stronger, and the assailants, forces the latter under the protection of the moral code; it makes them the chosen—through their own interests chosen-guardians of the same. It follows that they are naturally, for themselves also, committed to severe observance of the whole complex of moral prescriptions, and not merely in cases which concern masculine excesses. All the standards of morality are in a condition of solidarity with each other. Violation of a single one weakens the principle, and consequently every other. It follows that women in this connection hold unreservedly together. Here a

(679) real unity actually corresponds with the peculiarly ideal one in which men conceptualize them when they speak of " the women " in general, and which has quite the character of a partisan antithesis. This solidarity which they have in contrast with the men, and which is expressed in the lines of Freidank

Der Mann tragt seine Schmach allein;
Doch kommt ein Weib zu Falle,
So schilt man auf sie alle —

this solidarity of sex has in its interest for morality, as its common means of struggle, a real vehicle. Consequently, there is repeated here again the sociological form which we have been discussing. Women recognize, as a rule, with reference to another woman, only complete inclusion or complete exclusion from the realm of morality. There exists among them the tendency so far as possible not to concede a breach of morality by a woman—to interpret it as harmless, except where love of scandal and other individual motives work in the other direction. If this assumption, however, is no longer possible, they render an irrevocable and severe judgment of exclusion from good society. If the violation of morality must be confessed, the culprit is also eliminated radically from that unity which is held together by the common interest for morality. We have seen, therefore, that women have sometimes passed the same condemnation upon Gretchen as upon Marguerite Gauthier, upon Stella as upon Messalina. . Thus, by negation of differences in degree, they have made impossible an intermediation between those within and those outside the boundaries of morality. The defensive situation of women does not permit that the wall of morality be lowered at even a single point. Their party knows, in principle at least, no compromise, but only decisive acceptance of the individual into the ideal totality of "respectable women," or the equally decisive exclusion—an alternative whose abruptness cannot by any means be justified from the purely moral standpoint. It is only intelligible when understood in connection with the above-considered demand for inviolable unity, occasioned by the need of a party Cattily consolidated against an opponent

For the same reasons it may be advantageous for political

( 680) parties to suffer even the diminution of their numbers, so soon as such change would remove elements inclined to mediation and compromise. In order that this procedure should be indicated, two conditions should usually coincide: in the first place, there should be a condition of acute conflict; in the second place, the struggling group should be relatively small. The type is the minority party, and in particular in cases in which it does not limit itself to defensive action. English parliamentary history has furnished many illustrations. In 1793, for instance, the Whig party was already greatly depleted, yet it operated as a renewal of strength when another defection of all the still somewhat mediating and irresolute elements occurred. The few remaining very resolute members could then pursue a quite coherent and radical policy. The majority group does not need to insist upon such certainty of acquiescence or opposition. Vacillating and equivocal adherents are less dangerous to it, because its greater extent can endure such phenomena at the periphery without suffering any serious effect at the center. In cases of more restricted groups, where center and circumference are not far apart, every insecurity with reference to a member at once threatens the nucleus, and therewith the coherence of the whole. On account of the limited span between the elements, there is lacking that elasticity of the group which in this case is the limit of tolerance.

Consequently groups, and especially minorities, that exist in struggle and persecution, frequently rebuff approaches and tolerance from the other side, because otherwise the solidity of their opposition would disappear, and without this they could not further struggle. This, for example, has occurred more than once in the struggles over creeds in England. Both under James II. and William and Mary the nonconformists, independents, Baptists, Quakers, repeatedly experienced attempted approaches on the part of the government, which they met with no sort of response. Otherwise the possibility would have been offered to the more yielding and irresolute elements among them, and the temptation would have been furnished, to build compromise parties, or at least to have modified their opposition. Every

( 681) concession on the part of the government, provided it is only partial, threatens that uniformity in the opposition of all the members, and therewith that unity of coherence, upon which a struggling minority must uncompromisingly insist. Accordingly, the unity of groups so frequently disappears if they have no more enemies. This has often been pointed out from various directions in the case of Protestantism. Just because the protest was essential to Protestantism, the moment the opponent against whom it protested passed out of the range of active struggle, it lost its energy or its inner unity; this latter in such a degree, indeed, that in such circumstances Protestantism repeated the conflict with the enemy in its own camp, and divided itself into a liberal and an orthodox party. The same thing has occurred in the party history of the United States. More than once the complete inferiority of one of the great parties has had as a consequence the dissolution of the other in minor groups with party antipathies of their own. Moreover, it is by no means promotive of the unity of Protestantism that it has really no heretics. On the other hand, the consciousness of unity in the Catholic church is decidedly strengthened by the fact of heresy and by its hostile attitude toward the same. The various elements of the church have always been able to orient themselves by the implacability of the antithesis with heresy, and in spite of many a centrifugal interest they have been by this fact able to preserve consciousness of unity. Hence the complete victory of a group over its enemies is not always fortunate in the sociological sense, for the consequence may be a decline of the energy which guarantees the coherence of the group, and, on the other hand, proportional activity of the disintegrating forces that are always at work. The fall of the Romano-Latin empire in the fifth century has been explained by the fact that the common enemies were all subdued. Perhaps its basis—namely, protection on the one side, and devotion on the other—had for a period been no longer of a natural sort; but this came to light only after there was no longer any common enemy to offset the essential contradictions in the structure. Indeed, it may be actual political sagacity within many a group

(682) to provide for enemies in order that the unity of the elements may remain active and conscious as the vital interest.

The example last cited leads to the following additional emphasis upon the meaning of struggle as a means of cohesion in the group: namely, through struggle not merely an existing unity concentrates itself more energetically, and excludes radically all elements which might tend to erase the sharp boundary distinctions against the enemy, but further struggle brings persons and groups that otherwise had nothing to do with each other into a coalition. The energy with which struggle operates in this direction will perhaps be most distinctly visible from the fact that the relationship between the two parties is strong enough to operate also in the reverse direction. Psychological associations in general display their strength in the fact that they are also retroactive. If, for example, a given personality is represented under the concept "hero," the connection between the two conceptions proves itself to be the strongest if it becomes impossible to think the notion "hero" in general without reproducing the image of that particular personality. In the same way, the combination for the purpose of struggle is a procedure so often experienced that frequently the mere combination of elements, even if it is not formed for any aggressive or other competitive purposes, seems to other groups to be a threatening or unfriendly act. The despotism of the modern state directed itself primarily against the mediaeval conception of unity. At last every association, as such, between cities, ranks, nobles, or any other elements in the state, counted in the eyes of the government as a rebellion, as a latent struggle against itself. For instance, in Moravia an ordinance of 1628 provided: "Accordingly federations or coalitions, for whatever purpose, or against whomsoever directed, are the prerogative of no one else except the king." For the particular tendencies now in question historical instances are so close at hand that it would be superfluous to make any further inquiry, except as to the degree of unification which is feasible in this particular way. In the forefront must be placed the establishment of the unified state. France owes the consciousness of its national unity essentially to

( 683) struggle against the English ; the Moorish war was the means of converting the Spanish subdivisions into one community. The next lower grade is marked by the confederacies and leagues of states in the order of their coherence, and of the power of their central administration in manifold gradations. The United States required its War of the Rebellion, Switzerland its struggle against Austria, the Low Countries their uprising against Spain, the Achean League its war against Macedonia; and the founding of the new German Empire furnishes a parallel instance. In all these cases the characteristic element is that the unity came into being through the struggle and for the purposes of the same, to be sure; but, over and above the struggle, this unity persists, and develops ulterior interests and combinations, that have no connection with the warlike purpose. The significance of the struggle is in these cases virtually that it is only the reagent to set the latent relationship and unity into activity; it is thus much more the occasioning cause of essentially demanded unifications than their purpose. It is the latter, at the most, in the first moment. In the degree in which the unification is grounded in some other necessity than essential needs—that is, not in the immanent qualities and affinities of the elements—in precisely 'hat degree does the meaning of the unity reduce, of course, tc the militant purpose, as the externally exploited aim, which remains the irreducible element of the collectivity. However particularistic the component parts of a confederated state or a confederation of states may be, however small may be the proportion of their individual rights and liberties which they concede to the federation, they usually transfer to it at least the prerogative of waging war. This is the pièce de résistance of coherence; if this should fall away, the atoms would have to assume again their completely isolated life. Within the collective struggle-interest there is, to be sure, a still further gradation, namely, whether the unification for purposes of struggle is offensive and defensive, or only for defensive purposes. The latter is probably the case with the majority of coalitions between already existing groups, especially between numerous groups or those that are very different from each other. The defensive purpose is the collecti-

(684) -vistic minimum, because for each particular group, and for each individual, it is the most inevitable form of the instinct of self-preservation. The more various the elements are which unite, the smaller is the visible number of the interests in which they coincide; and in the extreme case it reduces to the primitive impulse, namely, the ultimate instinct of self- preservation. In reply to expressions of anxiety on the part of the employers over the possible unification of all English trade organizations, one of their most ardent adherents asserted that even if it should go so far, it could be exclusively for defensive purposes alone.

Among the cases in which the solidifying effect of struggle is projected beyond the moment and the immediate purpose, which may occur in the case of the above discussed minimum of the same, the extension again sinks to the cases in which the unification actually occurs only ad hoc. Here two types are to be distinguished, namely: the federated unification for a single action, which, however, frequently involves the total energies of the elements, as in the case of actual wars. In this case an unlimited unity is formed, which, however, after attaining, or failure in attaining, the definite purpose, releases the parties again for their previous separate existence, as, for instance, in the case of the Greeks, after the removal of the Persian danger. In the case of the other type the unity is less complete, but also less transient. The grouping takes place around a purpose which is less a matter of time than of content, and which occasions no disturbance of the other sides of the elements. Thus in England since 1873 there exists a federation of associated employers of labor, founded to antagonize the influence of the trades unions. In the same way, several years later, a combination of employers as such was formed in the United States, without reference to the various branches of business, in order, as a whole, to put an end to strikes. The character of both types appears, of course, most evidently when the elements of the struggling unity are, in other periods or in other relationships, not merely indifferent, but even hostile to each other. The unifying power of the struggle-principle never shows itself stronger than when it produces a temporal or actual consensus out of relationships of competition or animosity.

( 685)

The antithesis between violent antagonism and momentary comradeship in struggle may, under particular circumstances, reach such refinement that, for the parties concerned, the very absoluteness of their enmity may constitute the direct cause of their coalition. The opposition in the English Parliament has sometimes been constituted in the following manner: The ultras of the ministerial party were not satisfied by the administration, and they joined as a party with those who were their opponents on principle. This combination was held together by the common element of hostility to the ministry. For instance, the ultra-Whigs under Pulteney united with the high Tories against Robert Walpole. Thus the very radicalism of the principle which was nourished on hostility against the Tories fused its adherents with the latter. If they had not been so extremely anti-Tory, they would not have combined with the Tories in order to secure the fall of the Whig ministry which was not sufficiently Whiggish for them. This case is so vivid because the common enemy led individuals who were otherwise enemies to the point where he, in the view of each, seemed to stand too much on the side of the other. Further than this, the case is still only the clearest example of the vulgar experience that even the most bitter enmities do not hinder coalition, so soon as it may have a bearing upon a common enemy.

Finally, the lowest step in this scale, its least acute form, consists of those coalitions which are merely formed by a common tone of feeling (Stimmung). That is, in this case there is consciousness of belonging together only in so far as there is a similar aversion or a similar practical interest against a third; but this need not lead to a concerted struggle. In this case also we must distinguish two types. Concentrated industry, which has placed masses of laborers in opposition to a few employers has, as we know, not merely brought into existence separate coalitions of the former for struggle over the conditions of labor, but another consequence has been the quite general feeling that all wage-laborers in some way belong, together, because they arc all in the struggle which is radically one against the employing class. This opinion crystallizes, to be sure, at certain points in

( 686) distinct actions in the way of organizing political parties, or of wage-struggle. Yet, as a whole, this feeling cannot, by reason of its very nature, become practical. It remains the feeling of an abstract principle of community, namely, that of common hostility against an abstract enemy. While in the former case the feeling of unity is abstract, but persistent, in the second case it is concrete, but temporary. This second case occurs, for instance, when strangers who, however, belong in the same plane of culture or the same sphere of sympathy, find themselves together in company, say in a railroad car or elsewhere, with other persons of uncouth and vulgar manners. Without any outbreak or scene, without any interchange of word or look, the former have certain awareness of themselves as a party joined by common aversion against what may be regarded as, at least in the ideal sense, the aggressive vulgarity of the others. Through its highly refined and sensitive character, with accompanying unequivocalness, this unification completes the structural grades of those who are brought from the condition of completely alien elements through the community of hostility. In case the synthetic energy of the latter is not in question, so far as the number of points of interest are concerned, but with reference to the permanence and intensity of the coalition, it is an especially favorable circumstance if, instead of actual struggle, permanent threatening by an enemy is present. From the first days of the Achean League, that is, about 270 it was emphasized that Achaia was surrounded by enemies, who all, however, for the time being were otherwise occupied than with attack upon Achaia. Such a period of danger which constantly threatened, but which was as constantly postponed, is said to have been especially favorable for the strengthening of the feeling of unity. This is a case of the unique type that a certain distance between the elements that are to be united, on the one hand, and the point and interest that unites them, on the other hand, is an especially favorable combination for the union. This is particularly the case when somewhat extended circles are concerned his is true of religious relationships. In contrast with the tribal and national deities, the God of Christianity, who is equally related to all the

( 687) world, is immeasurably removed from the faithful. He lacks entirely those traits which are attributed to the special divinities. On the other hand, for that very reason, he can unite the most heterogeneous peoples and personalities in an unprecedented religious community. Still further, the costume characterizes always distinct social strata as belonging together; and it often appears to fulfil this social function best when it is an imported costume. To dress as they dress in Paris signifies a close and exclusive community with a certain social stratum in other lands. The prophet Zephaniah spoke already of the superior classes, which as such wore foreign garments. The very manifold meanings which the notion of "distance" covers have still many sorts of psychological relationship. An image the object of which is presented as in any way "distant" appears to work in a certain degree more impersonally, the individual reaction which follows from immediate vicinity and contact is thereby less intense, it bears a less immediately subjective character, and may consequently be the same for a greater number of individuals. Just as the general notion which comprehends a number of particulars is the more abstract, that is, the more widely distant from each of these separate particulars, the more numerous and the more unlike each other the latter are, so also a social point of unification appears to exercise specifically consolidating and comprehensive influences, if it is somewhat widely removed from the elements to be combined. This interval may be also both spatial and of other sorts. Such unifications in consequence of a danger which, however, has rather a chronic than an acute character, through a struggle that is not fought out, but always latent, will be most effective in cases where a permanent unification of elements that are in some way antithetical is in question. This was the situation in the case of the Achean League to which I have already referred. Accordingly, Montesquieu observed that "while peace and confidence make the glory and the security of the monarchy, a republic needs to be in fear of somebody." Obviously the basis for this assertion is an undefined consciousness of the before-mentioned constellation. The monarchy as such takes care for the cohesion of elements in any

( 688) wise antagonistic. Where these elements, however, have no one above them who brings them into unity, but possess relative sovereignty, they will easily fall apart if no common sense of danger forces them together—a danger which evidently is not presented as a struggle already in existence, but as a permanent threat of such a struggle which exerts a constant menace.

While it is more a question of degree, the principle of connection between the coherence of the collectivity and hostility calls for the following addition: Aggressive enterprises tend much more than peaceful ones to draw into co-operation, from their very beginnings, the largest possible number of elements which are otherwise unrelated, and which would not of themselves have begun the undertaking. In the case of peaceful actions, it is the rule, on the whole, to be confined to those who in other respects are somewhat nearly associated. But for "allies," to which notion verbal usage has already imparted a martial coloring, one selects often enough elements with which one has scarcely anything in common, nor even wishes to have. Reasons for this fact are, in the first place, that war, and not merely the political type, frequently represents a case of desperation in which in selecting reinforcements one may not be finical. In the second place, the situation in question is likely to occur if the object of the action lies outside of the territory or other immediate interest-sphere of the allies, so that they may return after the end of the struggle to their former distance. In the third place, the gain to be made by struggle, although a precarious one, nevertheless under favorable circumstances is likely to be especially rapid and intensive, and consequently exercises upon certain natures a formal attraction which it is possible for peaceful enterprises to exert only through their content. In the fourth place, the struggle causes the essentially personal in the parties in conflict to take a position of relative insignificance, and thereby permits the unification of elements that are otherwise heterogeneous. There comes finally, in addition, the motive that hostilities are easily aroused on both sides. Even within one and the same group, if it maintains a feud with another, all sorts of hidden or half-forgotten enmities of the individual

( 689) against individuals in the other group come to expression. Accordingly, struggle between two groups within a third group usually evokes in this third group all the malice and resentment against one of them which of themselves would not have come to expression; but now, while the other hostility has led the way, they are occasioned as a sort of annex to the operation of this instigating hostility. It is quite in accordance with this trait that, especially in earlier times, the unifying relationships of populations as wholes to each other were martial only, while the other assimilations, like commerce, hospitality, intermarriage, were relationships which affected merely the intercourse of individuals. Understandings between the peoples made these relationships possible, to be sure, but did not of themselves put them into effect.


[To be continued.]


  1. Translated by A. W. SMALL.
  2. The phrase may be pardoned, in this connection, as the must expressive rendering of sich zusammennehmen.
  3. More aptly, "let himself go": sich gehen lassen.
  4. I am here speaking of the relation as it has existed in the far largest part of known history, and I waive the question whether a change in the relation in the future is to be brought about through the modern development of the rights and powers of women, or whether the change is already partially accomplished.

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